Despite the fact that cold and flu season isn’t over yet, we are already seeing the first signs of springtime allergies. While our friends in the more northern states are still battling snowstorms, here in Atlanta we have hardwoods such as maple, oak, elm and birch beginning to shed pollen and trigger seasonal allergies.

It is nearly impossible to predict how severe the season will be for those that suffer from pollen allergies, but typically the milder the winter, the longer the pollination season. What makes particularly long seasons more difficult for those with allergies is an effect known as priming.

Winters like the one we have had in Atlanta this year have provided the type of warm temperatures that are needed for pollen and mold spores to be released into the air. When the weather hits a cold streak, the levels lower again. This “primes” the allergic reaction. When the true spring season hits and a person is exposed to the allergen again, it tends to be a much more severe reaction.

Even if you are one of the lucky ones that have yet to see the effects of seasonal allergies, now is the time to make an appointment with Atlanta ENT. Beginning medication or therapy now for seasonal allergies can make the spring season much more tolerable.

Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President of Atlanta ENT