As millions of Americans experience quintessential symptoms from the annual pollen deluge—coughing, sneezing, runny nose—allergists are reminding patients to consider all the signs before dismissing COVID or assuming they have it. Complicating matters are increasingly heightened pollen counts and new in-home allergies for remote workers.
The cicadas are back, and with them a warning from the Food and Drug Administration: Don’t eat these critters if you have a seafood allergy.
“Yep! We have to say it! Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters,” the agency tweeted Wednesday.
Since the cicadas have emerged, recipes have popped up across the internet, as some describe the critters as a rare gourmet treat.
Ah, spring. Pink puffs of blossoms decorate trees, daffodils stretch open their buttery frills to the sun and ― what’s that? Sorry, I was too busy sneezing to finish my thought.
If your nose runs so much that your most notable spring accessory is the tissue that’s always tucked into the wrist of your shirt sleeve, you’re likely in need of some relief from seasonal allergies. While you should see an allergist to properly diagnose and treat you, a few remedies in your own kitchen can help you breathe easier (and they’re doctor-approved).
With the arrival of the second pandemic spring, Americans are once again spending more time outside as a way to see friends and enjoy the warmer weather while trying to stay safe from COVID-19. But all that outdoor time can be tough on allergy sufferers, who often deal with watery eyes, congested noses and pounding headaches without symptom management.
“I’m getting a record number of calls now. We’re seeing more people than ever,” says Dr. Clifford Bassett, a New York City-based allergist at NYU Langone. In addition to hearing from those preparing for the spring allergy season, Bassett is also getting calls from people who are dealing with more indoor allergens as they spend more time at home — often with new pets. Still other patients are inquiring about allergies from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and warmer… but for millions of Americans it’s dreaded allergy symptoms that are in full bloom. And if you’re one of them, you may be desperately stalking the pharmacy aisle hunting for that silver bullet to zap the sneezing, itchy, runny nose and congestion that can make springtime pure misery.
With everything from sprays to syrups to antihistamines to steroids on the market, the options may seem endless and even overwhelming; but you can narrow down which would work best for you by understanding their different uses — and in some cases, limitations.
As if the stresses of pandemic parenting and remote learning weren’t causing enough stress for parents, many are now coping with another foe — the return of spring seasonal allergies.
The enemy may be invisible, but the symptoms certainly are not. Itching, swelling and irritation in the eyes, nose and throat from things like pollen, dust and animal dander affect up to 40 percent of children in the U.S. And while allergies or hay fever, a.k.a. allergic rhinitis, often tends to flare up in the spring and summer, some unlucky children — and their parents — end up battling it year round.
We have three kids under the age of 10 who seem to always be coughing and sneezing and sometimes have a runny nose. We’ve asked their pediatrician about it, but his answers are different during various times throughout the year. Other than taking them in for allergy shots, which two of the three have done to no avail, what’s the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier, which he’s also recommended?
My children also experience allergies, which often lead to asthma. An air purifier, especially medical grade, has made a huge difference in their lives. I also use a cold air humidifier, as recommended by their doctor; more so in the summer. I would suggest that you ask your children’s doctor to explain his recommendations for each child in terms that you can better understand.
Hay fever, allergies, allergic rhinitis… they’re all names for that pesky sneezing, itchy, runny nose that impacts at least 20 million adults each year. Some allergy sufferers only encounter symptoms during the spring or fall; the not-so-lucky ones can experience them year round. But while allergies may be all-too familiar to many Americans, they can also be much more than just a nuisance.
“I think that allergies can be trivialized, especially by the people that don’t have allergies,” Dr. Clifford Bassett, clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY, tells Yahoo Life.
This can lead allergy sufferers to downplay their own symptoms. Dr. Miriam Anand, an advisor to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, tells Yahoo Life that allergy patients often try to just “push through,” even when they’re feeling miserable.
Your symptoms may offer some clues to help differentiate allergies from the virus, said Dr. Clifford Bassett, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of NY and author of “The New Allergy Solution.”
“When you have an allergy, itchiness is a hallmark sign,” Bassett said. “If it’s a virus you may have sudden loss of appetite, headache, fever, sore throat, colored mucus, body aches and pains. Also, if you take an antihistamine you won’t get much relief.”
Also, a sore throat might be a good indicator that your symptoms aren’t caused by allergies, Bassett said. “Sore throats are associated with colds and viral infections,” he said. “Allergies, not likely.”
Q: Given her symptoms in the fall, I suspect my daughter has a ragweed allergy. How can we test for this?
Dr. Bassett: The quickest and most sensitive way an allergist tests for such an allergy is via the skin. A skin test involves a slight prick to expose the patient to a small amount of diluted ragweed pollen and other allergens. After 15 to 20 minutes, the allergist evaluates the size and redness of the resulting “wheal” or elevated bump.