Hay fever has nothing to do with hay; rose fever doesn’t refer to roses, explains
Dr. Nirmala Arora, allergist and clinical immunologist, Woodridge Clinic. The terms instead refer to the time of year in which the seasonal allergies strike. Spring (when roses start blooming) allergies are mainly due to the season’s tree pollen, while ragweed allergies strike in the fall when bales of hay abound.
But whatever they’re called, sufferers call them unpleasant, and seek treatment for allergies causing runny noses, watery eyes, and repeated sneezing.
Arora says, “This year, we’re seeing a tsunami of allergies. The recent dry windy days have stirred up the fuzzy tree seeds and microscopic pollen. With all the rain, mold allergies are very high.”
She adds, “There’s no cure for allergies, but there are many treatment options. The first choice is to avoid or minimize exposure to the allergen. At least at bedtime, people should close their windows to avoid breathing in tree pollen while sleeping. If needed, there are many levels of medications. The goal is to give the patient relief with the least amount of medication to cause the lowest number of side effects. We start with non-drowsy antihistamines and work from there.”
Arora, who has been treating allergy suffers for more than 40 years, says, “Before, we had to make our own nasal sprays with baby bottles, because they weren’t available. Now there are great sprays plus shots and other improvements.”
However, while advancements are on the rise, so are allergies. Arora blames the gradual depletion of the protective ozone layer, which allows more allergens to infiltrate the air. “Allergies were milder years ago, but today we’re better able to handle the severe cases,” she says.
Arora advises allergy sufferers to seek treatment early, to prevent allergies from developing into asthma.
For more information, call Woodridge Clinic, (630) 910-1177, or visit www.woodridgeclinic.com. Woodridge Clinic has offices in Woodridge, Lemont, and Lombard.