(AP) - Troy Allen woke up one day late last week with a terrible sinus
headache and knew from experience this was no cold.
now, the 39-year-old Eminence man has a headache with sinus pressure, but
he knows as the season progresses, his symptoms will change to itchy,
watery eyes and a lot of nose-blowing. All this, despite a daily allergy
pill he takes to ward off what he can.
it’s not this bad this early,” Allen told The Indianapolis Star. “Today
I’ve been eating a cocktail of whatever I can find.”
arrival has a dark side for those who suffer from allergies: The same
blooming trees and green grasses that shout new life bring with them itchy
eyes, coughing and sneezing.
this year, some experts predict, will be worse than ever.
likely will not be immune. The city recently ranked 59th on the Asthma and
Allergy Foundation of America’s 100 worst cities for allergies.
might not sound bad but ponder that last year - which many with allergies
considered a pretty dismal season - Indianapolis came in 79th.
experts such as Dr. Maria Ermitano say that after the long winter they
have not seen as many people coming through the office as at this point
definitely not as bad as last year because we had a good long freeze,”
said Ermitano of the Geist Center for Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “I
don’t think it’s going to be worse than last year. Last year was a
very bad year for a lot of people, but I wouldn’t say it’s the worst
is about the time that allergy patients start to flock to their doctors,
said Dr. Michael Nader, a primary care physician with Olio Road Family
Care. Nader said he resists predicting what the next few weeks will bring.
really no way to accurately predict how bad the season’s going to be,”
he said. “There’s all sorts of speculation, but usually until it
really hits, there’s no way to know, just like with the flu.”
unseasonably warm winter caused last year’s allergy season to start much
earlier. That’s one of the factors that could contribute to how bad this
year’s allergy season turns out to be, said Dr. Warren Filley, chairman
of the committee overseeing the National Allergy Bureau for the American
Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
warming also might play a role, Filley said. Warmer temperatures have led
to an increase in carbon dioxide, which spurs plants to grow.
Theoretically, that also would lead to higher pollen counts.
do respond in certain ways. When a plant is happy . . . next year it will
reward you with lots of pollen,” said Filley, a practicing allergist in
Oklahoma City, where the tree pollen counts have been higher this year
than they’ve been in a number of years.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America factors in the previous year’s
pollen counts when putting together the top 100 list, looking at more than
300 cities across the country. The group also considers how much medicine
people use and the number of allergists per person in the city, said Angel
Waldron, a spokeswoman for the Foundation.
Miss., was ranked as the worst U.S. city for people with allergies.
Midwestern cities such as Louisville, Ky., St. Louis and Dayton, Ohio,
ranked higher than Indianapolis.
Indianapolis remains in the bottom half of the list, people here should
not feel complacent, Waldron said.
on our ranking is a challenge,” she said. “We don’t want people to
feel if they’re toward the bottom, they’re one of the best.”
can take comfort in the knowledge that he’s doing exactly what doctors
say people with allergies should do: Medicate at the first sign the
seasonal allergies have returned.
an allergic reaction starts, the body’s immune system revs up. The body
first releases substances called histamine. Those soon result in the
release of other cells that produce more symptoms, not unlike a fire
spreading rapidly through a forest, Filley said.
who had allergies last year should be watching now to make sure they start
taking their medicine as soon as necessary, Ermitano said.
worst thing that people can do who have allergies is to wait until the
allergies are bad,” she said.
matter how miserable it seems, however, allergy sufferers should keep in
mind that this too shall pass. And for those who are not suffering, their
day may come.
year, Allen and his neighbor, who also has spring allergies, remark on how
they can be miserable on completely different days.
difference from person to person, Filley said, also might explain why some
experts made such dire predictions for this year while others did not.
always the worst year if it’s bothering you,” he said. “Every year
is a bad year if you’re being hammered.”