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Seasonal allergies

Spring and summer in St. Louis mean lots of outdoor activities—picnics, ball games, trips to the zoo, or sitting outside with neighbors and friends. 

100 questions & answers about allergies
Jonathan Corren.
Sudbury, Mass. : Jones & Bartlett Learning, c2011.
Empower Yourself! If you are among the 58 percent of Americans who suffer from allergies, or have a friend or relative who does, this book offers help. 100 Questions & Answers About Allergies gives you authoritative, practical answers to the most common questions asked by patients and family members about these common illnesses. This easy-to-read book is a comprehensive guide to understanding symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, over-the-counter therapy, sources of support, and much more. Including actual patient commentary, this text is an invaluable resource for anyone coping with the physical and emotional turmoil caused by allergies.
     
The vitamin cure for allergies
Damien Downing.
Laguna Beach, CA : Basic Health Publications, c2010.
Most people's diets are woefully inadequate for providing proper nutrition. Even good diets fail to deliver sufficient levels of nutrients. Research proves the immense value of vitamins for maintaining health and fighting disease. The Vitamin Cure book series, written by authors who are recognized experts in their field, offers authoritative, up-to-date, and practical information on taking vitamins for specific health problems.
     
No more allergies, asthma or sinus infections : the revolutionary diet approach to eliminating upper respiratory problems--including children's middle ear infections
by Lon Jones.
Topanga, CA : Freedom Press, c2010.
America's most famous country doctor and practitioner of commonsense medicine shows you how to:
     
Allergy explosion
Jo Revill.
London : Kyle Cathie, 2007.
Includes index.
     
Breathing space : how allergies shape our lives and landscapes
Gregg Mitman.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2007.
This book offers an intimate portrait of the ways allergic disease has shaped American culture, landscape, and life. Through the life stories of people, plants, and insects, Gregg Mitman reveals how our changing environment-physical, biological, social, and economic-has helped to create America's allergic landscape and why solutions to combat hay fever and asthma have failed. Book jacket.
     

For some St. Louisans, though, their seasonal allergies make it hard to enjoy these activities.  

Affects 35 million Americans

Almost 35 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies, making allergies one of the top causes of chronic disease in the U.S. Annually Americans spend $18 billion attempting to manage their symptoms.

(From American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology)

Why do allergies seem the worst in spring and summer? Because this is the time of year St. Louis’ grasses, weeds, and trees release thousands of tiny particles called pollen into the air.   Usually thinner than a piece hair, these pollen particles get into our noses and throats triggering sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes.

High pollen counts can affect numerous types of seasonal allergies including eye allergies (conjunctivitis), skin reactions (dermatitis), and the most common seasonal allergy allergic rhinitis (hay fever).   Other allergies, referred to perennial allergies, may occur year round. Most of these perennial allergies are triggered by indoor allergens such as dust mites, molds, and pets danders. 

St. Louisans with allergies might think it a good idea to move to another location.  However research shows people who move to get away from pollens discover that they likely will develop allergies to whatever plant pollens or molds are found in the new location. 

A better suggestion is to take a look at treatments available to minimize the symptoms of these allergies.  A doctor can run skin tests to identify the type allergen triggering the symptoms. Medications including antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may be recommended. 

One can also take steps to avoid the allergen by staying indoors with the air conditioner on, keeping bedding and floors clean, wearing sun glasses to minimize pollen getting in the eyes, or doing outside activities later in the day when pollen levels are lower.

Understanding allergies and knowing about treatments to ease their symptoms will make life for or many St. Louisans more enjoyable.

Grasses, weeds, and trees release pollens

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff