Back in October 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the Northeast—bringing destruction and devastation throughout the region. Now, months later, much of the region has rebuilt, but the impacts of the storm are still felt every day and in ways some would not expect. This past spring and into the beginning of the summer season, the most notable remnant left by Sandy was one of the worst allergy seasons the region has seen in recent memory. It has been so bad that people are flocking by the hundreds to see local, New York City allergists simply to get some relief from the out-of-control pollen and mold levels in the area. What caused the surge exactly, and when should you seek a specialists’ care? Here is what you need to know about the 2013 allergy season in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
She Made the Plants and Trees Very Happy
While you would be hard-pressed to find anyone to say something positive that came out of the storm that hit the region on Halloween of last year, there are some things that are very happy, according to CBS New York—the plants and trees. All of the rain that came with hurricane season last year has plants this year pollinating at astronomical levels because they are so well fed. This has resulted in a surge in pollen production and thus pollen suffering for everyone in the region.
The pollen levels have gotten so high this year that people who have never in their lives suffered from seasonal allergies are experiencing the runny noses, itchy eyes, and stuffy heads this year, according to the CBS report. Many people at the start of allergy season may have mistook their seasonal allergies for a cold, and even now, well into the allergy season—and pollen levels are still a little elevated in some parts of the region—they may be thinking they are simply having trouble shaking a cold.
When to See an Allergist
In America alone there are more than 50 million people who suffer from hay fever or other allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). For many people, allergies can be treated with the use of an over-the-counter medicine—this includes the medicines kept behind the pharmacy counter that you need to show your ID for, but you do not need a prescription for. However, there are others whose allergies are so severe that it makes their day-to-day activities difficult to complete or enjoy. Sometimes allergies are even life threatening—these are instances in which you will want to see an allergist. An allergist specializes in the treatment of allergies and asthma and can help you regain control of your life.
For those suffering in New York and the surrounding area, it can be difficult to decide if your case is severe enough to go seek out the assistance of allergists in NYC, but when in doubt, it is better to err on the side of caution.
Get the help you need to gain control over this residual effect of the storm, and get some relief this allergy season.
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Fred Davies is an amature meteorologist that enjoys blogging about global climate change and current events.