Allergy Season Hits Early

Allergy season has started already, according to the well-meaning folks at Doctors Express, who were kind enough to offer the following information for allergy sufferers.

Yes, we all know that allergies are no picnic but why should anyone have to live with this kind of misery? Those of us living in California may be denied the right to choose by the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, if we don’t speak out and demand the right to choose alternative therapies and treatment. The California Board of Chiropractic Examiners may soon make the choice for us all. [Learn more.]

Early Blooms Have Allergy Season Hitting U.S. Sooner Than Usual
Allergists Jammed So Local Urgent Care Fills Urgent Need

Nearly 40 million Americans are coughing, sneezing and tearing up a lot sooner this year, thanks to early blooms causing allergy season to hit much earlier.   Global warming is speeding up the growth of ragweed, the leading hay fever trigger, so allergists are prematurely jammed with weary and wheezy sufferers looking for immediate relief. That’s why urgent care centers like Doctors Express, are seeing a huge rise in allergy patients.

“Recent surveys show the average wait time to see a specialist is twenty days and people suffering from allergies don’t want to wait that long for relief,” says Dr. Scott Burger, co-founder of Doctors Express, the first nationally franchised urgent care with a center in your area. “By treating allergy patients, our urgent care is filling a desperate need in our health care system, especially this year with allergies hitting so many so soon in the season.”

Why So Many “Achoos!” So Soon?

  • Climate Change
  • Ragweed – Ecologists with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture believe global warming and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels is supercharging the growth of ragweed, the leading hay fever trigger. Not only is the ragweed growing larger and producing more pollen, the pollen is even more allergenic this year. 27% of Americans who suffer from allergies are sensitive to ragweed.  
  • Pine Pollen – Studies at Duke University show elevated carbon dioxide increases pollen production of loblolly pines, causing an epidemic of new allergy cases.
  • Hygiene Hypothesis – We have developed such an indoor lifestyle our children are not exposed to dirt and other outdoor elements, such as pollen. So when children go outside, their bodies go into attack mode and they may develop allergies to certain pollutants, like pollen.
  • We’ve Become Too Clean – Allergists say using household cleaning sprays like furniture and glass cleaners and air fresheners more than once a week can lead to allergies.

“People who have never had allergies in the past come to us thinking they have strep, bronchitis, or sinusitis when actually it’s allergies,” says Dr. Burger. ” These miserable allergy symptoms don’t hit conveniently from 9 – 5 on weekdays. We’re open full days, seven days a week when your primary docs or allergists aren’t even open .”

Make Yourself Comfortable (source: Mayo Clinic): Allergies are among the most common, but often overlooked, of diseases in the nation.   Other than medication, there are ways you can make yourself more comfortable this allergy season.

  •  If you’ve been outside, take a shower before going to bed and change into fresh clothing so you don’t bring the pollen that may have clung to your skin, hair or clothes onto your sheets.   Also, wash your sheets often.
  • Close your windows (and opt for air conditioning ) at night if the pollen count is high.
  • Avoid outdoor activity early in the morning when pollen levels are at their highest.
  • The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and use a portable HEPA filter in your bedroom.

The following herbs may be of some benefit in treating allergies (source: Mayo Clinic):

  • Butterbur may help relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
  • Stinging nettle may improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
  • Choline may help relieve symptoms associated with asthma.

More research is needed before these therapies can be recommended as safe and effective. If you’re interested in adding alternative therapies to your treatment plan, always talk with your doctor first. He or she can help you understand which therapies are most likely to help in your case. Your doctor can also provide information about potential health risks and drug interactions.

Top 10 Cities with the Worst Spring Allergies:  

Knoxville is ranked the worst city in America to live if you suffer from spring allergies.   Did your city make the 2011 list (source:  Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)?

1.  Dayton, OH
2.  McAllen, TX
3.  Wichita, KS
4. Louisville, KY
5.  Jackson, MS
6.  Knoxville, TN
7.  Greensboro, NC
8.  Madison, WS
9.  Chattanooga, TN
10.  St. Louis, MO