The Ins & Outs Of Seasonal Allergies

About 81 million Americans are diagnosed with seasonal allergies or hay fever, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. That’s about 26 percent of adults and 19 percent of children.

President and CEO Kenneth Mendez knows how miserable it can be for people who get stuffed up thanks to seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, he says allergies are likely to get worse as the allergy season gets longer and stronger with warmer annual temperatures.

Mendez explains that allergies are your body’s immune system response to triggers in the air. There are three waves of pollen allergy seasons — spring with the first buds; summer with the grasses; and the fall with ragweed.

Your local weather station website likely has a pollen tracker. You can also find them online so you know when your area is about to get hit.

Mendez advises you start taking your allergy medication about a week before pollen strikes. He recommends seeing a specialist so you know exactly what your trigger is.

He says you can keep pollen out of your house by keeping windows closed and wiping off your clothes, shoes, and pets before coming inside. You can also consider air filters.

Allergies can lead to allergic asthma, which kills nearly 10 people every day, Mendez says. He adds even if you’re living in the city, you’re still exposed to triggers. Urban areas tend to be hotter, and warmer temperatures magnify the impact of pollen release.