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Severe weather changes may be affecting your allergies

Last Modified: February 16, 2023

Family Medicine

allergies and severe weather

With one of the warmest Februarys on record, many are taking full advantage of the recent warm weather and sunshine. But this sudden rise in temperatures has a downside and may wreak havoc on seasonal allergies. Heather Willison, NP, PPG – Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, discusses what this recent shift means and how people can prepare in hopes of avoiding unnecessary suffering this season.

How does the unusually warm weather this winter play a role in spring allergy season?

An early spring doesn't necessarily mean fall is going to come faster. In fact, if the weather stays warm like this, we will likely have an earlier and longer pollen season than normal. This could result in higher pollen counts, sicker people and allergy sufferers will experience more symptoms sooner.

Fortunately, there's no pollen in the air right now. Typically, we see tree pollen first, which appears in the spring around late March or early April. Then, grass and weeds as we move into summer and fall. Though with the current weather fluctuations, from cold to warm and back again, we may see higher mold counts, which can be a real issue too. We'll also have many people experiencing more sinus pressure and drainage as the barometric pressure changes with varying weather patterns.

How can allergy sufferers prepare for this early shift in seasons?

There are several precautions you can take to help reduce your exposure to possible triggers and flare-ups. Try incorporating a few of these simple strategies to stay in control of your seasonal allergies.

  • Keep windows closed – I know everyone gets excited about warm temperatures and sunshine, with many throwing their windows wide open to bring in the fresh air, but it’s best to keep them closed. This helps you control at least one environment and provides a little relief from allergy symptoms.
  • Change it up – If you’re spending a lot of time outside, you may want to change your clothes and shower when you come back inside. This will help remove any pollen that may have stuck to your clothing or hair when out and about.
  • Rinse and repeat – You can also try rinsing your nasal passages with a saline spray once or twice a day. Doing this can help lubricate and flush out those passages and temporarily relieve dryness or congestion associated with seasonal allergies.
  • Be proactive – Many people think they can use their allergy medications as needed, but most don't work like that. Instead, you should take your allergy medications 1-2 weeks before pollen counts are expected to rise or the season begins. Doing so gives your body time to adjust and reap the preventative benefits of the medicines.
Where can people seek additional help?

If you have any questions or concerns, speak with your primary care provider or reach out to us at PPG – Allergy, Asthma and immunology so that we can assist you with your allergy or asthma needs as we head into spring. Also, to increase accessibility and convenience for our patients, we are now offering appointments at offices on the north and southwest sides of Fort Wayne, and in Auburn.

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