Spring Allergies Are Nothing To SNEEZE At. Allergist Alan Goldsobel, MD Discusses Causes and Treatments

April 2019

San Francisco, April 17, 2019 – Allergy season is here with a vengeance and according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology over 40 million Americans suffer from some form of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and are feeling the effects of spring pollen, mold and other environmental allergens.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs at different times across the country due to exposures and weather patterns: tree, grass, or weed pollen in the spring or fall. Perennial allergic rhinitis causes year-round symptoms due to dust mite, animal or mold allergies. Spring allergic rhinitis is often due to pollen from cedar and juniper trees and can start as early as December in warmer climates and is particularly severe in Texas. Many other trees pollinate from March through June. Depending on where you live in the U.S. grass pollen can cause an intense allergic reaction usually from April through July.

“An allergy is an abnormal reaction of a part of the immune system, where common things everyone is exposed to, pollen, animal dander, dust mites, molds, are recognized as “foreign” or harmful to the body – and they really aren’t,” said Alan Goldsobel, MD at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California and member of the Tivic Health Systems Medical Advisory Board. “Unfortunately, climate change has caused longer pollen seasons and higher levels of pollination across the country.

“Hay fever affects 30-40 percent of children and adults and while common, symptoms occurring in the upper respiratory tract aren’t life threatening, but can be severe enough to contribute to morbidity and decreased quality of life,” continued Goldsobel. “Both children and adults with allergic rhinitis may be more susceptible to viral infections and sinusitis. Sleep disturbances are common with adults often missing work and children missing school.”

Typical symptoms include nasal congestion with sinus pain and pressure, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy nose and eyes. An allergic reaction in your body may occur in the upper respiratory tract (nose/eyes/sinuses), lower respiratory tract (lungs), skin, and/or gastrointestinal tract. These are the areas of the body where we come into direct contact with our environment.

The approach to treatment for allergic rhinitis includes first, controlling your environment as much as possible and avoiding what you are allergic to. Second is to manage symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, eye drops and drug-free treatments like nasal washes are the typical course of treatment and can help relieve and manage symptoms.

Tivic Health has recently announced a new bioelectronic sinus treatment, ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief that's a drug-free, non-invasive solution for managing sinus pain associated with allergies (available late summer).

Finally, if needed, one can be desensitized to what they are allergic to with regular allergy shots or vaccinations.

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