Bielory provides the daily pollen count, and is certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology National Allergy Bureau.
Mold spores are on the rise and indoor allergens are becoming more problematic, Bielory said. Mold spore counts are expected to be heavier than usual, and as people are rummaging through their closets for something to wear for the holiday season, dust containing spores can become dislodged, Bielory said.
“When mold spores deposit on the eyes and nose in patients with allergies, a specific portion of their immune system kicks in,” Bielory said. “This generates the release of various chemicals such as histamine that cause tearing, sneezing, itchy red eyes, coughing, nasal congestion and sinus inflammation.”
He is also studying the effects of climate change on allergies, and finds there’s been an increasing of allergies from pollen and mold spores. He projects they will increase by 20-30 percent by 2020.
There has been progress in treatments, including more targeted treatments for asthma and ocular and nasal allergies, Bielory said.
While stating that prescription nasal sprays and allergy shots, known as immunotherapy, are an option, he also advises the following options for dealing with allergies:
• Visit your doctor, even if you’ve never been officially diagnosed with seasonal allergies but notice your have itchy eyes and a runny nose over multiple seasons, even winter;
• Plan for the outdoors – Pay attention to pollen and mold counts and air quality to avoid being outdoors when allergens are at their peak;
• Protect your home – Regular dusting and vacuuming in your home and changing the air filters can help remove indoor allergens;
• Rinse your sinuses – Cleaning your nasal passages with saline is one of the best ways to help relieve sinus pressure associated with allergies; and
• Try over-the-counter medications – Patients should try over-the-counter medications as a first defense. Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling and itching and decongestants may help with nasal congestion, but should not be taken if you have high blood pressure.
“One needs to individualize treatment for allergies since what works for one person may not work for another,” Bielory said. “Don’t suffer in silence. Talk with your doctor so you can find a strategy that will work for you and allow you to enjoy the upcoming holiday and ‘mold’ season.”