Why allergy season is getting worse — and what you can do about it
(BPT) - Does it feel like your allergy symptoms keep getting worse every year, and seem to last a lot longer, too? If so, you're not alone. According to a recent report from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, warming temperatures due to climate change have increased the growing seasons for many plants. This means that common allergens like pollen are produced much earlier in the season and last longer than ever before in many regions of the United States.
In addition to the extended growing seasons, these changes in temperature are also producing higher concentrations of pollen, meaning anyone allergic to or sensitive to pollen will feel their symptoms even more.
What are allergies, anyway?
Allergies are the result of a chain reaction of chemicals in your body that release histamine in response to allergen exposure, resulting in the symptoms many commonly experience such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and itching of the nose or throat. Common triggers include allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, fungal spores and grass clippings.
How allergy myths can prevent or delay effective treatment
Over one-fourth of all U.S. adults and children have at least one type of seasonal allergy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are one of the many who suffer from seasonal allergies, you may think you can wait it out, hoping your symptoms will just go away on their own when spring is over, but the truth is that allergies can greatly impact one's everyday life.
"Allergies can significantly hinder quality of life and thus interfere with work and daily activities. You may experience sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, runny nose, sore throat, and if not treated, allergies can turn into even more severe symptoms like respiratory issues," said Family Physician and ZYRTEC® partner, Dr. Leslie Gonzalez. "These symptoms can quickly worsen within hours to days, making them harder to treat — so it's better to treat your symptoms at the first sign of an allergic reaction."
What you can do to lessen allergy symptoms
Throughout allergy season (and beyond, if you're experiencing symptoms year-round), Dr. Gonzalez recommends the following to help reduce your exposure to allergens:
- Wash your hands and body daily — especially after spending time outdoors, and change clothes after doing yard work, playing sports or an extended time outside.
- Stay indoors when winds are strong or when pollen counts are high in your area. ZYRTEC actually has an app called AllergyCast that provides access to personalized allergy forecasts, live pollen counts and a symptom tracker to help allergy sufferers get ahead of their allergies, which is key.
- Avoid outdoor activity in early morning when pollen counts are highest.
- Vacuum daily, dust often — consider reducing fabrics in your home that allergens can bind to (such as choosing hardwood flooring over carpet), and wash bedding regularly.
- Improve ventilation in your home — and consider replacing HVAC filters even more frequently than recommended by the manufacturer during the height of allergy season.
Treat your allergy symptoms as soon as they start
Dr. Gonzalez also recommends that her patients take ZYRTEC immediately after the first signs of an allergic response, and then continue to take it throughout the season for the best results.
ZYRTEC starts working at hour one, providing a full 24 hours of prescription strength relief so allergy sufferers can enjoy the day without having to worry about allergy symptoms getting in the way. ZYRTEC also works twice as hard when taken again the next day, relieving the worst allergy symptoms, indoors and out.
You could also opt for ZYRTEC Chewables, which have the same great benefits as adult tablets, but in an easy-to-take tablet. No water is needed, so they're convenient for any occasion and easy to take on the go. They also come in a children's version for any parents whose kids have seasonal allergies.
Ready to start feeling your best, so you can get out and do all the things you love, any time of year? Learn more about seasonal allergies and find effective products to help alleviate your symptoms at ZYRTEC.com.