“Some allergists say a harsher winter means an especially bad allergy season, but the jury’s still out on whether the science backs that up.Manhattan allergist Dr. Cliff Bassett said “pollen vortex” isn’t exactly a scientific term, but he believes that wet winters lead to more pollen, and therefore, worst allergy seasons.”Whenever you have a fall and winter with a lot of precipitation like we had in received in most places, the soil is moist,” said Bassett, explaining that this makes the plants and their root systems “very happy” and causes them to produce more pollen in the spring and summer. On top of that, a late spring also results in what Bassett calls a “pollen tsunami” as a variety of pollen kicks in all at once.
A “pollen vortex” was thought to succeed the “polar vortex” of 2014, but a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology last fall declared that it didn’t happen. In Ontario, Canada, pollen counts were actually lower than they’d been in 12 years, the researchers concluded.”Our results showed the reported pollen burst failed to materialize last spring,” lead author aerobiologist James Anderson said in a statement. “Specifically, pollen levels of maple, juniper, birch, ash, mulberry and walnut were as much as four to five times lower than the average. The other tree pollen counts were within normal range.” SYDNEY LUPKINHealth Reporter via GOOD MORNING AMERICA
In any case, now is the time to start your nasal steroids if you haven’t been taking them. Keep in mind that these need to be taken regularly to build up and maintain a level of anti inflammation. Taking them occasionally is as good as not taking them at all. Start them now, and take them every day during your allergy season.
Did you know Flonase is now available without a prescription? Effective this allergy season you can now buy Flonase nasal steroid over the counter. Sizes come in 60 and 120 metered doses, and of course, the price goes down with the higher content.
Daily antihistamines are also helpful with controlling symptoms. Zyrtec is always my first choice as it is well tolerated for kids. But Claritin and Allegra are also good options. You can also try allergy eye drops if eyes are very affected.
One other thing I have found helpful, is to really flush the nasal passages when they have been exposed to a lot of allergen. When your child has been playing outside for instance, use Simply Saline, and just squirt a bunch in there and really flush it out the nasal passages. Keep in mind that allergy season creates a massive inflammatory response, and produces copious mucous. This helps set up a cesspool in the sinuses, and becomes a great breeding ground for actual infection. Keeping the sinuses flushed out and drinking a lot of fluid really helps with this. My kids all use Simply Saline like it’s water, and it really helps. And since it’s not a drug, you can feel good about using it constantly.
Finally, using tylenol or motrin for sinus headaches is helpful support for symptoms when they are at their worst.