Remember the Polar Vortex? We could have a Spring version called the Pollen Vortex, which is just what allergy sufferers needed to hear.
Because of the extreme winter — which in some areas of the country doesn’t seem to want to let up — conditions for Spring are not what they normally are and those who suffer from allergies, to pollen especially, appear to be set for a miserable time as they try to enjoy the much awaited warmer weather.
According to health experts, the record setting low temperatures and snowfall means pollinating trees will try to catch up.
“This is truly the gift that keeps giving,” ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said. “Instead of a gradually blooming of everything we normally see on the windshield of our car, it’s all happening at once really setting up a perfect storm for allergy sufferers.”
This could truly become the mother of all Pollen Vortex for those susceptible to allergens, which in any normal year are bad enough.
According to Kate Weinberger, a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University, wetter and warmer winters usually mean an earlier and longer allergy season.
Why are some calling this upcoming season the Pollen Vortex?
Just as it happened with the Polar Vortex, which affected most of the nation for months on end, the Spring season may come in as a lion when things finally start to flower, making allergy sufferers reach out for their favorite over-the-counter antihistamine.
Generally, trees produce their allergens gradually, however, this year, with continued cold weather, the stages have been altered in many areas of the US. The perfect scenario for a Pollen Vortex.
Coupled with the likely scenario of late blooming trees is the saturated ground, which produces higher levels of mold, another agent that affects those suffering from allergies.
So what can those people with itchy eyes and noses, who are constantly sneezing and miserable this time of year do?
Dr. Andrew Murphy, chief of allergy at Chester County Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System says starting to take nasal steroids early can help.
Other experts indicate beginning with allergy medications before symptoms are present to build up immunity is also recommended, as well as keeping doors and windows closed, showering after being outdoors, sleeping well, along with diet and exercise all of which can help minimize the effects of the upcoming Pollen Vortex.
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