Defending Yourself Against the Fall Allergy Assault
If you’re sneezing, got itchy eyes or have a runny nose lately, it’s probably no surprise to you that fall allergy season is in flu bloom. If it makes you feel any better (and it probably won’t!) you’re not alone.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACCAI), more than 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies each year. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. (ACCAI.org)
So what are you supposed to do about allergies?
First, a couple of quick notes on what allergies are:
- Allergies are a reaction caused when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as damaging to the body.
- Allergens can be breathed, swallowed, or enter through the skin.
- Anyone can be affected by allergies, no matter what age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status.
- Allergies tend to happen in families. But family links causing it aren’t yet completely understood.
Symptoms for those who suffer allergic reactions may include:
- Stuffy nose, sneezing, itching, or a runny nose, and itching in ears or roof of the mouth
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Red, itchy, dry skin
- Hives or itchy welts
- Itchy rash
- Asthma problems, such as shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing
- In extreme cases, anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction that can cause death) can occur.
One of the best ways to treat allergies is to avoid them. Ways to help you avoid allergies include:
- When the pollen count is high and on windy days, stay indoors.
- Do your best to dust-proof your home, especially in areas where you sleep.
- When possible, get rid (or minimize the use of) carpeting, Venetian blinds, down-filled blankets or pillows, closets filled with clothes.
- To get rid of dust mites, wash bedding, curtains, and clothing often and in hot water.
- Keep bedding in dust covers when possible.
- Instead of opening the windows, use air conditioning
- Use a dehumidifier in damp parts of the home.
- When working in the yard wear face masks which can help reduce pollens.
Another good way to avoid allergies is to be aware of where they are flaring up.
Sickweather is a mobile app for iPhone or Android providing hyper-local, up-to-the-minute information about a variety of illnesses — including allergies — trending in your area.
The Sickweather app uses inputs from a variety of sources including direct reports to the app, social media, third-party sources (such as The Weather Company) and Over-the-Counter (OTC) sales and uses a patent-pending algorithm to develop a real-time display of shows what’s going around in a specific area
Currently, Sickweather tracking shows allergies on the increase. This is typically when the fall allergy season starts. However, our prediction models show there this season will most likely be longer and a little more intense than last year. Our models predict levels to be higher from September 3 through October 1, 2018.
Whether you are an allergy sufferer or just someone who likes to know what illnesses are trending around you, Sickweather can be a useful tool to help you make informed health-related decisions for you, your family or people you care about.
Sickweather App downloads are available at: