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- What are Regional Allergies?
- Common Allergens in Northeastern U.S. Region
- Symptoms of Northeastern U.S. Regional Allergies
- Diagnosing Northeastern U.S. Regional Allergies
- Treatment for Northeastern U.S. Regional Allergies
What are Regional Allergies?
Regional allergies vary depending on the part of the country you live in. Different regions contain different plants and trees that pollinate at different times of the year. The more you know about allergens common to your area and when they are the most troublesome, the easier it is to prevent and treat the associated symptoms.
Seasonal allergies in the Northeast region consist primarily of tree pollens. High moisture levels can also lead to mold growth in the warmer seasons. Grass allergens are picked up easily by the wind during the early part of summer and weed pollens, like ragweed, are more prevalent in the fall until the first hard freeze kills it off.
Common Allergens in Northeastern U.S.
Common tree allergens in the Northeast include birch, elm, ash, hickory, maple, oak, beech, sycamore and cottonwood. The most common weed allergies are plantain, lambsquarters, ragweed, marsh elder, pigweed and cocklebur. There are also a variety of pollinating grasses in the area like bermuda grass, timothy, sweet vernal and blue grass.
Symptoms of Northeastern U.S. Regional Allergies
Northeast regional allergies result in hay fever type symptoms like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, congestion and sinus inflammation. Other symptoms can include headaches, allergic cough, irritability and asthma. Allergies are worse in the spring with tree and grass pollination and again in early autumn with ragweed.
Diagnosing Northeastern U.S. Regional Allergies
Regional allergies, also called seasonal allergies or hay fever, are based on the time of year. In the northeast, the warmer months bring tree, weed, grass and mold allergies. Diagnosis by an allergist usually involves a history of symptoms, timing and exposure. If a detailed history is not enough to make a diagnosis, skin tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Skin tests involve exposing the patient to tiny amounts of allergens placed just beneath the surface of the skin. When allergies are present, there will be a raised bump or minor skin irritation at the site within fifteen to thirty minutes. Once the allergens are determined, a personalized treatment and management plan can be established that may include immunotherapy, avoiding triggers, or the use of medications depending on the severity of the allergies.
Help for Northeastern U.S. Regional Allergies
Severe regional allergies are often treated with immunotherapy, a series of allergy shots that build up tolerance to allergy triggers. After allergy testing is complete, a personalized serum is developed and shots are given at regular intervals that help the body naturally build resistance over time.
For those with minor allergies, simple techniques like removing shoes and clothing immediately after being outdoors and showering right away can eliminate pollens and other toxins that attach to skin, hair and clothing. HEPA air filters and vacuums are also effective for removing pollens brought in from outside.
Antihistamine medications are effective for periodic allergy attacks, but not generally recommended for long-term allergy management.