What time of the year is allergy season? It's anytime
for some allergy sufferers.
When the local newscasters announce that
allergy season has arrived do you just shake your head? Allergy season can be a pretty misleading
The budding trees and blooming flowers
associated with the early return of spring, "rose fever," may mean itchy eyes or
worse if you suffer from allergies to grass and tree pollen. The cooler days of fall may make
you cry if your body reacts to "hay fever," caused by ragweed and other air borne
pollens that show up as the summer ends.
allergic rhinitis may get all of the publicity, but year
round allergies can be worse. Allergies to dust, animals,
mold, food and other common environmental allergies can be
difficult to keep under control. Dust doesn't suddenly appear
and disappear, it is always there.
But even seasonal allergies can last for
months. While many consider allergies to be just a nuisance, in severe cases the symptoms
can mimic a bad flu. Seasonal allergies may trigger asthma attacks when irritating pollen
causes a build up of fluid in the lungs.
"Dust doesn't suddenly appear and disappear, it is always there..."
Many allergy sufferers wind up with secondary
infections involving the sinuses, ears, throat, nose and lungs from untreated symptoms. The
fluid that your body produces in an attempt to wash away the pollen provides a warm nutrient
bath for bacteria to grow.
sufferers dont have to cope with the symptoms on their
own. An allergist or immunologist can offer relief and a plan
to control the symptoms as well as the secondary infections
that can occur. There are allergy treatments
that range from pills and nasal inhalants to shots that trick
your immune system into accepting the pollen. These treatments
may not eliminate the discomfort of allergies, but they can
make the symptoms less disruptive to the activities you enjoy.
wonder how many allergy sufferers actually see a doctor about
their symptoms, patients looking for relief from allergy
symptoms make 14.1 million physician office visits and
run up an overall cost of $6 billion each year. Many go after
years of self-medication with over the counter drugs. The
fact is that the prescriptions you receive from a doctor can
be tailored to your specific allergies and tend to work better
than medications that are available without a prescription.
The AAAAIs How the Allergist/Immunologist Can Help: Consultation and Referral Guidelines Citing the Evidence provides information to assist patients and health care professionals in determining when a patient may need consultation or ongoing specialty care by the allergist-immunologist.
Patients should see an allergist-immunologist if they:
Have prolonged or severe symptoms of rhinitis.
Have nasal polyps.
Have co-existing conditions such as asthma or recurrent sinusitis.
Have symptoms interfering with quality of life and/or ability to function.
Have found medications to be ineffective or have had adverse reactions to medications.
Are a child with allergic rhinitis, because immunotherapy may potentially prevent the development of asthma.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)