post-title Enterovirus and Seasonal Allergies 2014-09-30 17:07:27 yes no Posted by

Enterovirus and Seasonal Allergies

by: Dr. Jennifer Bullock Pollen Seasons Many pollen allergy sufferers are glad to know that this year’s pollen seasons are winding down!  Some who are having symptoms for the first time might be wondering  what has been happening to them since the Spring started.  Some people with allergies know that they have symptoms, but do […]

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by: Dr. Jennifer BullockJeniBullock

Pollen Seasons

Many pollen allergy sufferers are glad to know that this year’s pollen seasons are winding down!  Some who are having symptoms for the first time might be wondering  what has been happening to them since the Spring started.  Some people with allergies know that they have symptoms, but do not know when to expect them, or when the different plants are pollinating.  Below is a summary of the different pollen seasons that may help you to manage your symptoms.

What is pollen?

Pollen is a fine powdery substance produced by a plant as part of its reproductive process.  Pollens are produced and released into the air by different plants during certain times of the year.

Tree Pollen:  Wind pollinated trees pollinate from April through the end of May.  If April is cold and rainy, or if it snows in April, the tree pollen season might not be as severe early on, and might not cause you to have too many symptoms until the end of April.

Grass Pollen:  Grasses pollinate from around mid-May until the end of June.  By Memorial day weekend, grass pollen is in full force, and many notice a worsening of their symptoms at this point in time.

Ragweed and Other Weed Pollen:  Weeds typically pollinate from mid-August until the beginning of October.  By Labor Day weekend, weed pollen counts are very high, and you may notice a worsening of allergy symptoms at that point in the season.  Because weed season occurs during the beginning of the school year when many children (and therefore parents and teachers) become sick, it is sometimes difficult to tell if symptoms are due to a cold or allergy.  This was especially true this year, with the predominance of strains of Enterovirus causing significant respiratory symptoms in our community.  A recurrent pattern of illness that lasts longer than 10 days, and does not involve a fever, around this time of year is suggestive of weed allergy.

What if you can’t seem to find a “pattern” to your symptoms?

Many people with pollen allergy are also allergic to mold, dust mite and animal dander, and they may notice symptoms outside of these pollen seasons.  Additionally, some people may experience significant improvement of their pollen allergy for a few days if it rains, or if they are not outside as much.  For these people, it might not be obvious when pollen season is occurring, or symptoms may seem to change from day to day without much of a “pattern”.

In this situation, it may be helpful to see an allergist for allergy testing to help determine exactly what you are allergic to, if there are allergens you can control or avoid, and when you should expect symptoms to worsen or improve throughout the year.  Your allergist can then help you devise a good plan to keep your symptoms under control.

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