Seasonal allergies: your symptoms may worsen this week!

Seasonal allergies: your symptoms may worsen this week!
Seasonal allergies: your symptoms may worsen this week!

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, your symptoms may worsen this week, since the pollen count is likely to be very high in the coming days.

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The pollen count forecast for Wednesday and Thursday is very high for birch. As for the ash tree, the pollen index is high. For Friday, Quebecers will be entitled to a little respite, while the index promises to be moderate.

The allergist doctor and president of the Association of Allergists and Immunologists of Quebec (AAIQ), Dr. Rémi Gagnon, explains that it is normal to experience more allergy symptoms at this time of the year, since it is is tree pollen season. “The main type of tree is birch, it is the one which will give the most significant allergies. However, the birch crosses with other trees, so the season [du pollen des arbres] can extend until the end of June,” he adds.

Allergy season varies from year to year. On the other hand, the mild winter experienced this year may “play on the development of pollen buds earlier”. For several years, experts have observed a trend towards an “earlier, longer and more intense” allergy season, possibly due to climate change.

30% of the population is affected by allergies, a trend that seems to be on the rise. “Yes, it’s more prominent. It has increased over time, but we don’t have any reasons behind it. You just have to know how to protect yourself,” he explains.

How to treat allergy symptoms?

Other problems can develop with seasonal allergies, such as asthma or chronic sinusitis. “Our nose has a main role. It was put in our face to filter the air. It’s important to clean it well with saline solutions to remove pollen,” he explains.

The use of a treatment, such as nasal glucocorticoids, could help treat seasonal allergies. “It’s not cortisone. There will be no side effects. It is the first line of adequate treatment. For some, that won’t be enough. There are different types of desensitization,” adds Dr Gagnon.

Indeed, desensitization “works very well.” There can be desensitization by injection, “which requires a lot of visits to the doctor” or desensitization with a tablet under the tongue at home.

“It’s very important to treat inflammation. It is a reactivation that takes place every year. We can be more and more sensitive,” concludes the allergist and president of the AAIQ.

See the full interview with Dr. Rémi Gagnon, above.



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