Department of Public Affairs -- 8900 Van Wyck Expressway Jamaica, New York 11418
For Immediate Release
Name: Xavia Malcolm
Experts Warn This Year’s Allergy Season Could Be Severe Jamaica Hospital Prepares Patients for the Dreaded Pollen Season
Although stretches of warmer weather, blooming flowers and other familiar notes that characterize the spring season may seem delayed; temperatures are certain to heat up over time and pollen production will increase in the next few weeks. For many allergy sufferers, these events signify the beginning of allergy season- and the time of year for them to prepare for the onslaught of their symptoms.
Allergy experts agree that the unseasonably chilly temperatures and a seemingly delayed spring are indicative of what could potentially be a severe allergy season that yields high pollen counts. When pollen production is held up due to colder temperatures; a flood of pollen is expected to be released once the climate warms up. Health Departments nationwide, including the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) are encouraging healthcare providers to prepare patients now for the approaching allergy season and anticipated pollen surge.
In an advisory distributed by the NYC DOHMH, data showed that “In New York City, over-the-counter allergy medication sales typically increase in late April to early May, coinciding with peak concentrations of certain tree pollens.” The advisory also shared that asthma emergency department visits tend to increase during this time of year, especially among children.
Dr. Lisa Roth, Allergist and Immunologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, has been preparing patients for allergy season in several ways one of which is by helping them to identify their triggers through testing. “It is important to conduct allergy tests to determine the cause of their symptoms. Often people purchase over the counter drugs to treat symptoms but they may not be treating the correct cause for their discomfort,” she explained. Once the cause is identified, Dr. Roth recommends treatment options which may include medication to control symptoms or immunotherapy. “Allergy immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a form of long-term treatment for allergic disorders that decreases symptoms for many people by modulating the immune system in a beneficial way. Allergy shots decrease sensitivity to allergens providing lasting relief of allergy symptoms.”
Other ways Dr. Roth has been preparing patients for this year’s dreaded allergy season is working with parents of children with asthma, as elements in the environment during this time of year can exacerbate their symptoms. “ I remind parents that it is very important that their child’s asthma is managed well before pollen season begins. I help them to develop or update written asthma management plans,” explains Dr. Roth. Educating parents about symptom trigger avoidance is also a key factor in managing asthma during allergy season.
As for seasonal allergy sufferers, Dr. Roth recommends the following tips to prepare for the season and manage symptoms: monitor pollen and mold counts, keep doors and windows shut in your home and car, begin taking medications prescribed by your allergist now to avoid inflammation, clean the air in your home with a HEPA filter, wash your face and hair as soon as you get home and wash linens and clothing frequently.
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center serves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and Eastern Brooklyn. This 408-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. JHMC offers an array of acute inpatient, rehabilitation and mental health services, and is one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in New York City. The hospital provides general medical, pediatric and Ob/Gyn services. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s mission is to serve patients and the community in a way that is second to none. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.