Hay fever sufferers already know that allergy season is here again. Pollen counts are rising, and with them the watery eyes, nasal irritation, cough and other signs of a seasonal allergy.
Actually, the term “hay fever” has been supplanted in the literature by “allergic rhinitis,” which is just what it says – allergic inflammation of the nasal passages. Pollen, dust and animal dander are all common allergens, but this time of year the main culprit is pollen. After all, it’s spring: everything is sending out signals.
Hay, by the way, doesn’t cause allergic rhinitis, nor is there a fever invovled – it’s the grass pollens in the air that cause the allergy. These pollens are frequently released in the same season as the cutting of hay, back on the farm.
It’s estimated that one in three people have an active allergy at any given time, and a majority of people develop an allergic reaction at least once in their lives. Springtime though, right about now, is when a tenth to a quarter of us are affected by allergic rhinitis every year.
You may be happy to hear that Martinez is not in among the 10 worst US cities for allergies this spring, according to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Those honors were reserved for places like Baton Rouge, LA, and Knoxville, TN. San Francisco rated 84th in the country and San Jose was 88th, improvements from their 2012 ratings of 83rd and 78th, respectively.
If you’re sensitive to pollen, either from grasses, trees or weeds, you can keep an eye on sites like www.pollen.com to gauge the pollen count from day to day, and sign up for pollen alerts from The Weather Channel that can be sent via email or text message. Check the pollen forecast for Martinez fon weather.com.
The pollen forecast for Martinez this week is "high" on Thursday and "very high" on both Saturday and Sunday, according to weather.com.
How are you coping with your allergies? Share suggestions in the comments.