-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Letting pollen drift in
through open windows and using the wrong air filter can contribute
to allergy flare-ups in spring, experts say.
Some 35 million Americans suffer from sneezing, sniffling,
stuffiness and itchy eyes due to spring allergies, according to
experts from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
"People with spring allergies often don't realize how many things can aggravate their allergy symptoms, so they just muddle along and hope for an early end to the season," said Dr. Myron Zitt, former ACAAI president, in a college news release. "But there's no reason to suffer. A few simple adjustments in habits and treatment can make springtime much more enjoyable."
Allergists recommend allergy-sufferers keep their house and car
windows closed so pollen can't drift in from outdoors. They also
recommend making sure to use the right air filter. Inexpensive
central-furnace or air-conditioning filters and ionic electrostatic
room cleaners aren't helpful, the allergists said. Ionic
electrostatic air filters release ions that can irritate allergies.
And whole-house filtration systems can only be effective if the
filters are changed regularly.
The experts also note that some people with seasonal allergies,
particularly to grass or birch trees, may also suffer from
allergies to closely related fruits, vegetables and nuts. About one
in five people with grass allergies and as many as 70 percent of
people with birch allergies have these cross-reactions, known as
pollen food allergy syndrome.
People with allergies to birch or alder trees may experience
tingling, itching and swelling around the mouth when they eat
celery, cherries or apples. People with grass allergies sometimes
find tomatoes, potatoes or peaches problematic.
Although often not serious, reactions to these foods can be
life- threatening in a small percentage of people. A
life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylactic shock,
and high-risk people should carry a portable epinephrine pen.
Allergists also encourage people to take their medicine even
before their symptoms flare, and to see an allergist who can
suggest the best course of treatment.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology provides
more information on
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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