“Seasonal allergy visits are up over 20% from last year,” said Dr. John Oppenheimer of Pulmonary and Allergy Associates in Summit, New Jersey. “We are seeing a significant rise in patients complaining of typical allergy symptoms, which we normally see later in the season.”
Tree pollen, the most common trigger for seasonal allergies, started as early as February in some parts of the country. In New Jersey, the warm weather caused pollen counts to be in the thousands; a very high level and concentration of pollination for this time of year.
A unique aspect of the high pollen counts is that certain trees are pollinating simultaneously. Pine, elm, oak and birch are popular New Jersey trees that began to pollinate and fall - causing the fine green dust seen on our cars – at the same time.
For many, understanding the difference between a cold and allergies can be confusing. Colds and allergies have a lot of similar symptoms: runny nose, congestion, cough and generally feeling lousy. “Typically, allergy symptoms come on more abruptly than colds. You may feel lousy and run-down for a few days prior to cold symptoms even beginning, as your body is attempting to fight off the cold virus,” says Dr. Oppenhiemer. “With allergies, the body is recognizing substances, such as pollen or pet dander, as germs and releasing histamines to fight them off, so symptoms will start immediately.”
Here are some other ways you tell the difference:
- allergies typically begin with itchy, watery eyes and/or a scratchy throat
- allergies do not cause fevers, colds do
- allergy symptoms will last as long as the person is exposed to the allergen; colds typically last 7 – 10 days and gradually get better during that time.
Pulmonary and Allergy Associates recently launched its new website, www.paamds.com in January. The site features complete biographies of all PAA physicians and news, links and information about treatments for asthma, sleep disorders, pediatric allergies and pulmonary diseases.
Pulmonary and Allergy Associates is the leading medical practice in central New Jersey for interventional pulmonology, sleep disorders, adult and pediatric allergies, critical care and clinical research. The practice is comprised of over 17 board certified physicians, registered and advanced practical nurses, respiratory therapists and a clinical research team that has led hundreds of pharmaceutical studies.
For more information about Pulmonary and Allergy Associates, visit www.paamds.com or call 908-934-0555.
You'll find more Basking Ridge, Somerville, Bound Brook, Warren, Bernardsville, Somerset County, New Jersey healthcare news and information on http://www.yoursomerset.com.