Posted by Ivey on April 25th, 2013
Spring is finally here, and I’m ready to enjoy the nice weather with a run or bike ride outside. There’s only one problem—or maybe millions of tiny ones—pollen! If you have pollen allergies like I do, I’m sure you know how quickly a workout can be ruined by allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, or even shortness of breath.
You can do more than enjoy the view from inside the gym though, so lace up your running shoes and get outside! These tips can help you keep pollen allergy symptoms at bay while exercising outdoors:
- Know your triggers. Most runners and cyclists take regular routes. If you notice your symptoms flaring up at certain points on your route, there may be a large concentration of trees or other plants producing pollens that aggravate your allergies. Take notice of the plants and trees around you, and discuss them with your doctor. An allergy test can also be helpful at determining precise triggers. You may even consider altering your route. Continue reading
Posted by Ivey on February 28th, 2011
Last week, I woke up with a stuffy head and puffy eyes. “Surely, pollen season hasn’t already started,” I thought. Wrong. The significant jump in temperature over the last couple of weeks prompted dormant trees to wake up and shake off their pollen, which resulted in a pollen count of 742. According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, there were no high pollen days in February 2010 and the highest February pollen count in 2009 was 386. Luckily, I had my trusty air purifier ready to go.
Unfortunately, Atlanta isn’t the only U.S. city facing the early onslaught of pollen. Many towns and cities across the southern and southwestern areas of the U.S. are dealing with medium to high levels of pollen, according to Pollen.com. So what’s going on?
Posted by Ivey on April 14th, 2010
Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and the air is filled with pollen — lots of pollen. For allergy-sufferers across the country, especially in the southern and northeastern United States, the 2010 pollen season is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent history. Last week, The Weather Channel reported pollen counts as high as 5,733 in Atlanta. A typical high pollen count is around 120.
Experts attribute this onslaught of pollen to an unusually cold winter followed by the late of arrival of spring, and higher than average spring temperatures. As a result, trees, flowers, and other plants are all blooming at once, leaving a thick yellow coat in their wake and causing millions to sneeze, cough, itch, and experience other unpleasant allergy symptoms. With grass and weed allergies right around the corner, will allergy-sufferers get to enjoy any of this beautiful spring and summer weather?
Posted by Ivey on March 17th, 2010
Spring break season has officially begun. For many people, this is a time to travel and take a break from work, school, or both. Unfortunately for asthma- and allergy-sufferers, spring break isn’t exactly a break. In fact, traveling with allergies and asthma can prove to be hard work. Luckily, there are multiple mobile phone apps available to make traveling with allergies and asthma a little easier:
Posted by Ashley on April 6th, 2009
Spring pollen is back – and it’s in full force. As reported by CNN, ABC News, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – and quite possibly, that thick layer of yellow powder on your car – this year’s spring pollen is apparently going to be worse than ever. (Let’s all let out a collective groan.) According to countless reports, we can expect higher than normal pollen counts in many parts of the country.
For instance, if you live in the Northeast, you can expect heavier pollen levels as a result of the area’s high population as well as the large number of pollen-producing plants in the region. The Midwest will also likely see a more severe allergy season, stemming from the late winter flooding and snowstorms, which have made the ground ripe for tree and grass growth. In the Southeast, there are conflicting predictions. While some numbers predict a less severe allergy season, allergists at the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, say residents in the region should hunker down for a particularly tough season, based on recent pollen trends and weather patterns. Continue reading
Posted by John on November 8th, 2008
I rarely watch television (I prefer online media), but when I do watch TV, one of my favorite shows is House M.D. Dr. House always considers all potential causes of illness, including environmental factors. In fact, in several episodes, the maverick diagnostician sends his interns to break into the homes of sick patients.
While I appreciate Dr. House’s efforts, I wouldn’t want a bunch of 20-somethings dressed in white coats breaking into my home! Thankfully, US News and World Report offers an alternative: take photos of your home to show your doctor. Continue reading
Posted by John on November 2nd, 2008
If you have asthma, you should be familiar with all of your asthma triggers so that you can avoid them. Get tested for allergies if you haven’t already. Most asthmatics are sensitive to at least one common household allergen.
Indoor air quality is a major concern for people with asthma. If you can manage to avoid inhaling the particles that make you sick, then you’ll feel better. Continue reading
Posted by John on September 17th, 2008
A couple of days ago I planted my first garden in my backyard – just a few cold-weather vegetables. Gardening can be a relaxing, fun, and rewarding hobby, but if you have allergies, you should make sure that you don’t grow allergenic plants in your yard!
Pollen from various plants can cause allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and in some cases, asthma attacks. The simple act of gardening outdoors can expose you to many different types of pollen. Continue reading
Posted by John on September 3rd, 2008
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its list of 2008 fall allergy capitals – the worst places to live during fall allergy season – based on pollen counts, number of allergy medications used per patient, and number of allergy specialists per patient.
Ragweed, the most common seasonal allergy trigger, peaks in September in most parts of the country. Mold allergy is also a problem during the fall. This year, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives in one of the top 100 Fall Allergy Capitals! Continue reading
Posted by John on August 27th, 2008
Here in Georgia, it rained for five days straight because of Tropical Storm Fay. The aftermath of the storm is now moving up the East Coast, as Tropical Storm Gustav threatens to slam the Gulf Coast next week.
An abundance of rain this time of year is not a good sign for allergy sufferers. Heavy rain causes ragweed plants to grow much faster – and produce more pollen.
Ragweed allergies affect 10 to 20 percent of Americans, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Ragweed pollen is a major nuisance to allergy sufferers because the plants are so widespread (they grow well even in urban areas) and because the pollen grains can travel so far. Ragweed pollen has been found 400 miles out to sea and two miles up in the atmosphere! Continue reading
Posted by John on August 13th, 2008
According to WebMD, probiotics (“good” bacteria found in supplements and foods like yogurt) can change your immune system’s response to pollen.
In the future, probiotics may constitute another treatment option for the 40 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, or seasonal allergies. When ingested, probiotics join other microorganisms in the gut, where the majority of your immune system is located. Changes in intestinal bacteria have been linked to certain allergic disorders, and this prompted researchs to look at probiotics. Continue reading
Posted by John on August 7th, 2008
It’s back . . . Ragweed season starts in August and runs through October. Ragweed pollen is the top cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. Nearly 40 million Americans experience allergic symptoms during ragweed season.
Ragweed grows almost everywhere in the United States, in rural and urban areas alike. To make matters worse, the lightweight pollen grains can travel hundreds of miles in the air. Continue reading
Posted by John on July 23rd, 2008
Allergy medication can be an effective treatment for allergies, but it’s not the only treatment option available. Some people choose to receive allergy shots (immunotherapy); for many, these shots decrease their sensitivity to certain allergens. (I received allergy shots for mold and grass pollen nearly 20 years ago, and the shots worked well, but now I’m allergic to cat dander!)
The most effective treatment for allergies is environmental control. In a nutshell, if you can control the allergens in your environment, then your allergy symptoms will fade away. Environmental control is also cost-effective, and there are no side effects. Continue reading