Skip to content

Spring Allergy

April 15, 2011

I am sure everyone of us is looking forward to warmer weather, short sleeve shirts and the return of environmental beauty. Spring is here!  Unfortunately about 20% of you have allergies and of that number, about 2-5% of you have allergies to tree pollen. When the temperature of the air sustains itself above 50 degrees day and night, the buds on deciduous trees begin to open up releasing pollen grains throughout the air. Tree pollen is big; you can see it on your car and when really bad, the windshield wipers are of necessity. Along the eastern seaboard, most of our pollen comes from the Allegheny mountain range as well as our local tree population. The pollen count you hear on the news is the amount of pollen grains in a cubic centimeter of air (about the size of large garden pea) Pollen counts in the range of 200-500 cause the eyes and nose to itch and lots of runny noses and sniffling and sneezing. In May the pollen counts reach into the thousands however and this poses serious health hazards to those allergic to it. It is not uncommon for a person to have breathing difficulty so badly that a visit to the emergency room is needed. Often times admittance into the hospital is needed.

Tree pollen begins to fall late May especially if you’re fortunate to have lots of rain.  By Memorial Day tree pollen is usually spent and finally those who suffer can go out to play!

The most important aspect of treatment is avoidance of the pollen.   This means keeping windows up on the cars (even during beautiful comfortable days) and your homes.  Running the AC in your cars or homes helps.  Avoid long outings.  Children in daycare are most vulnerable since they will invariably go outside during the day. Riding bikes of any kind is traitorous.

If you must be outside to cut grass or watching a game, wearing close fitting sunglasses help. Over the counter allergy medications are of limited help since the pollen counts become ridiculous.   Of importance is using medications to directly treat the eyes since the surface of the eye ball doesn’t get a blood supply.  Many times doctors use a combination of antihistamines, allergy prevention agents and sometimes steroids.  If you remember suffering last year during the Spring, it would be wise to prospectively see your doctor for treatment before it gets too late.  Those of you who have asthma should definitely check in with your doctor; it may prevent all the costly aspects of being hospitalized.

Enjoy your Spring!  But don’t get too close!

Dr. “D”

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: