Just when you thought we could stop talking about the flu– the sniffling, sneezing misery for many continues.
Doctors say keep the tissue handy as so-called ‘seasonal’ allergies now arrive early and stay late.
“It goes from winter trees to spring trees– before pecan is done, Bermuda grass has started,” says Richard L. Wasserman, M.D., Ph.D., an allergist with Medical City Dallas. “With changes in the climate, years ago, from the end of June to the end of August, there was essentially no pollen at all. But, for the past couple of years we’re even getting pollen in summer…we don’t get even get a full summer break like we used to.”
Dr. Wasserman is one of the many experts who now point to global warming for extended allergy seasons… and extended suffering.
“We refer to seasonable allergies; but, it’s a series of seasons one after another. Mountain Cedar to Elm to Oak… Oak is what makes your car yellow. It’s coming pretty soon.”
“Allergy is the most common cause of presenteeism,” says Dr. Wasserman. “That’s when you show up for work; but, you don’t do anything useful because you feel terrible.”
And allergies are a problem for all ages. Julie Wilkossky says the family finally turned to allergy shots for 7-year-old daughter, Molly.
“We tried everything,” says Wilkossky.” All kinds of allergy medications, eye drops, nasal sprays… and we struggled to get her a place where she can make it to school without having trouble seeing and keeping her eyes open.”
Doctors say it’s important to know what you’re allergic to, so you can begin taking your allergy medications before symptoms show up– because they may just decide to stay awhile.
“Yep,” says Steve Bell, while defying his allergies with a bike ride around White Rock Lake. “All year ’round. A regular thing for me.”
Of course, it’s always good to see a doctor about ongoing medical concerns. But, while waiting for that appointment, Dr. Wasserman says over-the-counter allergy medications are very effective.
Your pharmacist can help direct you to the right one. But, the same advice applies: Start early.