With these unseasonably warm winter days it has made for some great outdoor activities like hiking and nice long walks or runs. The annual Cowboy breakfast was attended by persons in T-shirts and not Parkas for the first time in many years. New green grasses can be seen on many lawns and spring is just around the corner. Best of all, cedar season is coming to an end and I hope it was not too hard on you. Those of you affected by cedar pollen can expect pollen levels to remain until somewhere between Valentine’s Day and the end of the Rodeo. Shortly thereafter arrives the Ash pollen followed a variety of tree pollens most notably Oak pollen.
The best approach ahead of your allergy season(s) is to be sure that you are consistent with your prescribed allergy and/or asthma medications and start them 2 weeks before the pollen season is in full swing. My experience is that you will fare better if you are treating to prevent than if reacting after your allergies are going strong. The Oak pollen in particular can hit many target organs including the eyes(swelling, itchy, burning, and tearing), nose, chest(cough, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath), and skin (itchy and irritated eczema reactions). Avoid prolonged outdoor activities on heavy pollen days or on windy days and rinse off in the shower after you go indoors for the day.
This is also time for emerging insects including bees, wasps, fire ants, and mosquitoes. Allergies to these insects are random and not predictable even within highly allergic families. If you are allergic to any of these and have been provided an Epi-Pen or other epinephrine self injector devices be sure to have an updated one available with you at all times. The epinephrine in these devices is very sensitive to heat and light exposure so keep the device in a cool and dark place that at the same time is readily available if needed. Be sure that you have a buddy with you who is trained on using the device in case of emergency and always call 911 if you have to use the Epinephrine device.
Remember that we offer immunotherapy or allergy injections to pollen, dust mites, molds, animals, and for insect allergies like Honeybee, Wasp, Yellow Jacket, and Fire Ant.
We have a state of the art CT scan in our office for evaluation of sinus infections and sinus headaches. We are able to do these at the time of your visit and review the study with you in person so that you see the results for yourself(s).
I hope this letter finds you well and most of all be safe and have a healthy spring and summer allergy season!
Dr. Dilley and Dilley Allergy and Asthma Staff