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2014 Allergy Season Expected to be Very Harsh

Update Date: Mar 21, 2014 11:30 AM EDT

Allergists are recommending that people stock up on tissues and medications for this upcoming spring. According to the experts, people can expect a very harsh allergy season. Due to the long and extremely cold weather, the Northeast region of the United States can expect high pollen and allergen counts this season.

"We're going to get a bumper crop of pollen starting, I would bet, next week," said Dr. Paul Ehrlich, an allergy/asthma/immunology specialist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel reported by the New York Daily News. "Because the weather has been so cold, we sort of picture trees sitting with their hands on their hips saying 'alright, we'll wait, and then we'll pour on the pollen.'"

The experts explained that the cold winter would delay the start of the allergy season. However, once the trees, such as the birch, oak and maple, start releasing pollen, the pollen will hit people with a stronger impact.

"The cold weather actually makes it better for trees to pollinate," Dr. Timothy Mainardi of Hudson Allergy Tribeca explained. "We had a tremendous amount of snow this year, and all that moisture is currently being drunk up by the trees. Mold absolutely loves moisture. The moisture that we generated this year in the form of snow is going to make all of those symptoms worse."

Based on these predictions, experts throughout the nation provided some tips to outsmarting allergies. First, people who do suffer from seasonal allergies should consider switching allergy medications frequently. Long-term use of the same mediation can build up the body's tolerance to the drug, which reduces the drug's effectiveness. For people who do not want to pop a pill everyday, some natural alternatives might be effective. Several studies have found that eating a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce allergy symptoms.

While some types of foods can improve allergy symptoms, others can worsen them. Experts warn that some foods, such as apples and melons contain similar proteins to pollen, which could then cause similar allergy symptoms. Aside from foods and medications, people can reduce the effects of allergies by avoiding them in general. Pollen counts are typically the highest from five to 10 in the morning. Knowing that, people with bad allergies should avoid staying outdoors too long during those hours. People can also check daily pollen counts and avoid stepping outdoors too often if the count is extremely high.

The experts stated even though avoiding allergies completely is impossible, finding ways to alleviate the symptoms will be extremely important over the next few months.

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