Nobody enjoys having allergies! However, these tedious and itchy symptoms aren’t a sign that your immune system isn’t working—it’s actually working too hard. Your body is designed to fight off “bad” substances, like harmful bacteria and viruses, but sometimes it identifies harmless items as dangerous and develops a negative reaction against them. This is called an allergy.
While pollen and grass won’t hurt the body if they are inhaled, your immune system still treats them as a threat – leaving you with a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and a host of other bothersome symptoms.
Allergens can be found everywhere – even in Central California. However, you can prepare for the peak months and find ways to reduce your reactions. Understanding the most common season for allergies and how to treat allergies in Fresno will help you to prepare so that you can minimize allergy symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about allergy season in Fresno.
The number of allergens in the air rise and fall throughout the year. The most common season for allergies is spring – also known as “allergy season” across the United States –But why is it exactly that so many people have reactions during this time?
Spring is a period of rebirth, it’s when flowers bloom after winter and trees start to regrow their leaves. In other parts of the country that are blanketed by snow and freezing temperatures, spring is the first time in months that new life has arrived. Unfortunately, all of this new life creates pollen, and all of a sudden growth dramatically increases the pollen count or the number of pollen particles floating in the air.
Allergy season peaks at different times throughout the country. In March, spring might be in full bloom in the southern states while the Midwest is still deep in winter. However, by May, allergy season will catch up with other parts of the country as spring works its way north.
Allergic reactions to pollen are also called hay fever, and the symptoms are easily recognizable. You may experience a runny or congested nose, frequent sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, an itchy throat, and general tiredness. Asthma sufferers might also be at risk for worse reactions during this time.
Additionally, pollen isn’t the only allergen trigger. Many people also experience ragweed allergies in mid-September, resulting in many of the same symptoms they felt in the Spring.
For allergy sufferers, there are benefits and drawbacks to living in Fresno. Central California doesn’t have the harsh winters that many other states do, which is why many people live here. However, this means that our allergy season is a little different from the rest of the nation. While there is certainly a peak of pollen and grass in the Spring, flowers can bloom year-round and can trigger allergic reactions.
While year-round allergies are a problem in some parts of the country, this isn’t an issue for Fresno. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America looked at the 100 largest cities in the United States to determine which ones are the best and worst for allergy sufferers and Fresno ranked among the top 10 for best places to live with allergies. The report looked at spring and fall pollen scores, over-the-counter medicine use, and the availability of board-certified allergists to provide treatment.
At BUDDIGA Family Allergy | Skin | Immunology, we like to think that we contribute to Fresno’s ranking as a top place to live for allergy sufferers! Dr. Buddiga is a nationally-recognized expert in allergies, asthma, and immunology and is board-certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology; a conjoint Board of The American Board of Internal Medicine and The American Board of Pediatrics.
So, even if the pollen counts rise this spring, residents in Fresno should be able to breathe easy knowing they can get the help they need to treat their allergies!
For allergy sufferers, the best way to get ahead of symptoms is to prepare yourself and your space before allergy season even begins. To keep symptoms at bay, here are a few tips to help you and your family stay comfortable all season:
There’s no reason to suffer through bouts of hay fever if you think you have allergies. Multiple treatments range from basic over-the-counter (OTC) medication to allergy shots.
If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms any time of year, contact us to make an appointment with Dr. Buddiga. He will review your symptoms during his comprehensive consultation and determine the cause of your allergy symptoms. He may recommend allergy tests to identify the exact trigger if necessary. Once Dr. Buddiga has a diagnosis, he can move on to treating your allergies.
The most common treatment for allergies is OTC medication, including basic tablets like Claritin or Zyrtec. Dr. Buddiga might recommend starting with one of these to see if they lessen your reaction. If your symptoms persist, he may move on to other treatment options like oral drops and shots.
Oral drops are also called allergy drops and are meant to treat the underlying condition rather than your reaction to the pollen. You will put a small drop under your tongue from a vial that Dr. Buddiga prescribes that contains concentrations of your allergen. By exposing your body to your allergen, it becomes less sensitive and reacts less severely over time. This treatment, called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), teaches your body that harmless substances like grass aren’t bad.
Allergy shots also work like oral drops, but patients need to commit to multiple years of receiving injections. Dr. Buddiga recommends allergy shots if your allergen is unavoidable (like pollen) and if you still have symptoms despite taking large amounts of OTC medication. In this case, allergens are affecting your daily life and an allergy shot may be needed so you can feel healthy again.
Every patient is unique, which is why Dr. Buddiga will review your symptoms, lifestyle, and treatment options before creating a targeted plan of action against allergies.
In the same way that allergies fly about in Fresno so do the myths about how to keep them under control. The first is taking a tablespoon of honey each morning. While it won’t hurt to add it to your routine, there is little evidence to prove that honey can prevent allergy symptoms. The next is moving to the desert. There are indeed fewer plants to trigger your symptoms in the desert, however, grass, ragweed pollen, and dust is just about everywhere and can cause symptoms to act up.
Some are willing to try just about anything to abate their coughing and sneezing, but it’s best to speak with your specialist about the best ways to keep symptoms under control.
Allergy season is different for every person because allergies are so unique to each person. However, the number of people with allergic reactions to pollen tends to peak in the spring when plants start to grow. This season might taper off in a month or two as Fresno enters summer.
Another peak allergy season occurs in the fall when dry air and high ragweed counts cause allergic reactions.
If you are interested in receiving an allergy test, seek out a board-certified allergy specialist. Dr. Praveen Buddiga has been helping families in Fresno breathe easier for decades and will conduct comprehensive testing to develop a customized treatment plan.
California is a large state, which means allergens will flare up during different parts throughout the year. Residents of Central California will experience high allergy levels in the early spring (especially in March) while those in Northern California might not experience severe allergies until April. Coastal areas also have lower pollen counts than inland regions.
Allergy season ebbs in late fall and is over during the winter, before starting up again in the spring.
Allergy season will typically last all spring and into summer. However, the severity depends on a variety of factors. If Fresno experiences a wet spring with lots of rain, then most people won’t feel the effects of allergies immediately. However, in dry periods, pollen counts are high causing worse symptoms.
While allergy season in Fresno is in the spring, you may suffer from symptoms in late summer and early fall.
If you are feeling the effects of high pollen counts and suffer from itchy eyes or a runny nose, take the first steps to get the treatment you need. Contact Dr. Buddiga at BUDDIGA Family Allergy | Skin | Immunology and work with a leading allergy and immunology expert here in Fresno. Request a consultation today and fight back against allergens.
Dr. Buddiga has decades of experience as a leading allergy and immunology expert treating residents of Fresno and the surrounding areas. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California – San Francisco, UCSF-Fresno and is board-certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a conjoint Board of The American Board of Internal Medicine and The American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Buddiga always puts family first and works closely with patients to improve their allergy symptoms and their quality of life.
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