There are hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from allergies and asthma in the Washington, DC area. This becomes particularly evident in the spring, when the various trees and grasses release their pollen into the air. In addition, there is an increase of mold spores released into the air. It is also at this time that people tend to spend more time outdoors. This combination can and does provoke severe allergy and asthma symptoms in a certain percentage of the population. In the fall, ragweed pollen and mold spores are responsible for most of the symptoms that allergy sufferers feel. For people who are bothered by allergies and asthma throughout the year and have perennial symptoms, dust mites, molds, and pet dander are prominent causes, in addition to the pollens mentioned above.
Causes of Allergies and Asthma in DC
In the spring, pollinating trees and grasses, and mold spores cause misery for people with nasal and ocular allergies and can exacerbate asthma symptoms. In the fall, it is the pollinating ragweed and mold spores that cause the same symptoms. For many people, the spring and/or fall is a nuisance, provoking runny and/or stuffy noses, itchy eyes, sore throats, sinus headaches, and uncontrollable sneezing. For others, it can be a serious health concern. At the peak of spring allergy season, the daily measurement of pollen particles can spike to more than 4,000 particles per cubic meter of air. Severe allergies can also provoke asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and/or chest tightness among certain individuals.
The Washington, DC area residents disproportionately suffer from asthma. The Center for Disease Control reports that the asthma rate for both children and adults is significantly higher in Washington, DC than in the United States at large. Asthma diagnoses are more prevalent for women than they are for men, and more prevalent for boys than they are for girls. According to a 2013 article by the Washington Post, Washington, DC has the highest proportion of pediatric asthma diagnosed nationally.
Although allergies and asthma cannot be cured, the condition can be made much more manageable by avoiding exposure to environmental triggers and appropriate medical treatment. In order to reduce contact with pollen, you can make several alterations to your daily life, such as using central air conditioning rather than opening windows to cool your home. Wearing glasses rather than contact lenses reduces eye exposure to pollen. Taking a shower after coming in from outside will also decrease your overall exposure to pollen. If you suffer from an allergy which requires care beyond lifestyle changes, however, you should see an allergist.
Black & Kletz Provides Treatment for Allergies and Asthma in DC
Black & Kletz Allergy practice will properly diagnose your allergy-related condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan to manage or alleviate your symptoms. One of our allergists will confirm what kind of allergy you have through diagnostic testing (typically a skin test or blood test), and will put you on a treatment plan for your condition. This usually consists of a combination of several of the following: changes to your lifestyle; changes in your home and/or workplace environment; medications in the form of pills, syrups, nasal sprays, and/or eye drops; and/or allergy injections (allergy shots) to improve your tolerance to allergens.
If you have asthma, Black & Kletz Allergy can offer medical solutions with the goal of minimizing your symptoms and protecting lung function. Short-term relief will address asthma symptoms in a moment of need, whereas long-term control medications help reduce airway inflammation and prevent symptoms. Black & Kletz Allergy will work with you to develop a treatment plan which addresses your lifestyle needs.
You can make an appointment with Black & Kletz Allergy at one of our three Washington, DC locations by calling our office or requesting an appointment online on our website, in order to explore treatment options for your asthma and allergies.