Daily Times (Primos, PA)
for trees to pollinate, and as we get into the summer, the grass tends to pollinate. Then, moving toward fall, weeds become the culprit — typically ragweed.
“What we typically hear from our patients is symptoms tend to worsen for a lot of them with tree sensitizations in the spring,” Daley said. “It really depends on what they’re allergic to.”
Daley said that short of medicating, there are basic steps allergy sufferers can take short to ease their symptoms, including keeping doors and windows closed and showering after outdoor activity.
As for medications, overthe-counter antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroid sprays are usually the first line of defense.
But some people may need to see an allergist to get their symptoms under control.
“What I usually recommend is having allergy testing is very helpful and relatively
easy to do,” she said. “We certainly do encourage evaluation, and then treatment can be tailored to different patients.”
There is one other step sufferers could take, but depending upon which side of the divide you’re on, you may not want to hear this: Daley said wearing face masks outdoors can be helpful to allergy sufferers.
“Interestingly, it does seem to help a lot of patients who would not normally be wearing a mask who find that especially if they are allergic to pollen, it does seem to help them in terms of reducing that exposure,” she said. “So I guess there’s more than one benefit from (wearing a mask).”
Daley said her office has been very busy so far this year, but it’s too early to tell if whether it’s going to be an especially bad year for allergies.
That largely hinges on the weather. Dry, windy days (and seasons) tend to be super-spreaders of pollen.
Apart from that, are other variables:
• A late freeze can delay tree pollen.
• Rain can have varying effects: It can wash away pollens, but rain in the late fall or winter can increase tree pollen.
A native of Rhode Island who grew up in South Africa, Daley completed her allergy and immunology fellowship last June at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
She said Tullyview, one of only two allergists in the county, focuses on patient care and patient education. She and Dr. Edward Skorpinski treat a variety of conditions, including people who have environmental allergies, food allergies, asthma, immuno-deficiencies, frequent infections and hives.
“We are pretty passionate allergists, so we’re keen to help where possible,” she said.
If you are on the fence about having allergy testing, she offered this word of caution:
“With global warming, we’re likely to see worsening of seasonal allergies. So if one takes a long-term view, that is likely to affect everyone.”