Mold can affect your health

CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Seasonal allergies are somewhat predictable and each year the media is quick to point out pollen count peaks. But how much do you know about your own personal allergen triggers? According to Chicago allergist Dr. Brian Rotskoff of Clarity Allergy Center, you can significantly improve your quality of life by learning about and preparing for your own “high-sneeze, high-itch” months. Not only will your nose feel better, controlling the symptoms of hay fever, mold allergy or allergic rhinitis, can also help reduce adult sleep apnea, sinus headaches, and more.

Allergy experts like Dr. Rotskoff pay close attention to how weather, environment, and even your home affect breathing. At the December meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology researchers presented a yearlong review of Internet searches involving allergy symptoms. March and May saw spikes in allergy-related searches for nasal congestion, itchy nose, and sneezing, while September ranked highest for eye allergy inquiries.

A guide to outdoor seasonal allergies and indoor environmental allergies:
Winter allergies – With tree, grass, and weed pollens absent, indoor conditions are the biggest allergen triggers. More time spent indoors concentrates exposure to dust mites, animal dander, and mold, strengthening reactions.

Spring allergies – Tree pollen kicks into high gear, but spring allergies are very weather-dependent. Warm weather makes plants grow and people sneeze, as seen with 2012’s early onset of spring allergies.

Summer allergies – For most, grass pollen is the culprit. Separately, others need to be mindful of insect allergies. In August mold and ragweed get going, as well.
Fall allergies – Ragweed pollen is at its highest. Dry summers allow other pollens to hang around, but lots of rain can bring on the mold. Mold is a tricky allergy because it’s inside and out, and can be present year round.

While these general trends are helpful, Dr. Rotskoff knows the best allergy relief comes from individual diagnosis and targeted immunotherapy. “I encourage patients to take a close look at their own allergen triggers,” he says. “Exposure is often unavoidable so the better your prevention strategies, the better you’ll feel.”

Allergy relief with immunotherapy
Over-the-counter medications can help in the short-term, but for true prevention and lasting relief Dr. Rotskoff highly recommends immunotherapy. “Allergies rarely cause true harm, but they can certainly make us miserable,” claims Dr. Rotskoff. “If you’re a chronic allergy sufferer the right immunotherapy regimen can essentially cure your allergies.”

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