A recent study found that pollen season increased by 20 days annually between 1990 and 2018, while pollen concentrations in North America increased 21 percent over the same time period.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) precautions taken in 2020 and 2021 may have offered a temporary reprieve from the worsening allergy season, but the overall trend is not encouraging, says Anna H. Nowak-Wegrzyn, MD, PhD, director of the Pediatric Allergy Program at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.
Learning what pollens you’re allergic to and checking daily pollen counts remain among the best first steps to limiting exposure to seasonal allergens, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. “Windy days with high pollen counts are probably not a great time to schedule a hike or go to the park,” says Dr. Nowak-Wegrzyn, who also tells Healthline that pollen counts tend to be the worst in the morning.
Getting a head start of allergy medication also can help, said Luz S. Fonacier, MD, an infectious disease, allergy, and immunology specialist at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island. “If you know it’s likely that your allergy symptoms will arrive earlier in the spring or fall season, start taking your medications sooner,” she adds.
You can also talk with your doctor to see if allergy immunotherapy, such as allergy shots, is a good option for you or your child.
Read more from Healthline.