It’s true, allergy season really is getting worse each year!
Research has shown that since 2016, allergy season has gotten increasingly worse each year and the trend is continuing in 2020. But what’s behind the surge in pollen production? Many experts are pointing to climate change as the cause.
As temperatures rise, allergy season increases in duration which means pollen producing plants stick around for much longer than in years’ past, especially Ragweed which is one of the biggest culprits of allergy symptoms. Additionally, scientists have discovered that when plants are exposed to increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), they produce more pollen creating the perfect storm for allergy sufferers.
Dr. Jeffrey Demain, Allergist from the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska, noted that allergenic peptides on pollen, the component that triggers your body’s immune response or allergy symptoms, have also increased as a result of climbing CO2. More pollen peptides means a more severe allergy response.
Unfortunately, it’s not just pollen causing allergy problems. Mold has become an issue in many states where the climate has become warmer and damper and the stinging insect population is also thriving and increasing in states that have experienced unseasonably warm winters.
As individuals begin experiencing a more severe immuno-response from these “super pollens” and overall worsening allergy seasons, including mounting cases of stinging insect allergies, many are asking whether OTC antihistamines are enough to manage their symptoms and what other alternative treatment options are available. The good news is, there are alternative, long-lasting options such as immunotherapy which provides allergy desensitization using oral drops or allergy shots, as well oral immunotherapy for food allergy desensitization; all of which need to be properly dosed and administered under the direction of a trained medical professional.
Before you begin any treatment, including OTC treatments, anyone experiencing bothersome or worsening allergy symptoms, should schedule an appointment with an Allergist who will be able to provide a comprehensive allergy evaluation and provide a custom treatment plan that works best for your individual needs. And since your immune system’s response to allergy triggers can change over time, it’s important to have an action plan in place which may include a combination of therapies such as immunotherapy, OTC antihistamines and/or epinephrine for emergency situations.
The Allergy, Asthma and Immunology physicians at Advanced Specialty Care provide allergy & asthma evaluations and treatment. Allergy and Asthma appointments are available in our Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield locations. If you have questions about Food Oral Immunotherapy, asthma, allergy testing, allergy treatments or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (203) 830-4700 or simply click here to fill out an appointment request form