After a long and harsh winter, spring has sprung and along with it, seasonal allergies. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. For an update on what to expect this season and the latest in allergy treatments, YaleNews spoke to Dr. Tao Zheng, chief of the Allergy and Immunology Section at Yale School of Medicine. In addition to her research in immunology, Zheng sees patients at allergy clinics based in New Haven, Connecticut.
What do people need to know about the 2015 spring allergy season? How does it compare to those of previous years?
In spring and summer, many people are vulnerable to tree pollen and grass allergies. Trees and flowers all seem to be blooming at once, and that means a sudden burst of different types of pollen at the same time. We are predicting that this allergy season may be one of the worst in years. In Connecticut and the Northeast, beginning in February and lasting until June, several types of trees — particularly birch, maple/box elder, oak, juniper/cedar, and pine trees — produce pollen that can trigger allergy symptoms.
What can people do to survive allergy season — lifestyle changes or home remedies?
Spring is the time for warm weather and outdoor actives. To minimize pollen exposure:
- Keep windows closed during pollen season, especially during the day
- Stay indoors during midday and afternoon hours when pollen counts are highest
- Take a shower, wash hair, and change clothing after working or playing outdoors to remove allergens that collect on clothes and hair
- Wear a mask when doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn
If you need help to prevent or control your allergies, talk to your doctor about seeing an allergist. An allergist can discuss the best treatment options available for you.
*Read the original article via YaleNews.