Published on February 01, 2017


Philadelphia, PA – Warmer weather brings sunshine, emerging greenery and longer days, but many people dread this season for the sinus pressure, headaches, itchy eyes and respiratory problems it brings. Experts predict that the early taste of warm weather we had February and March means that pollen counts are increasing earlier, and impacts may be felt for a longer time this season.

“There is no single allergy season,” says Arati Karnik, MD, family practice. “Allergy symptoms may vary throughout the year, depending on where you live and the types of substances you’re allergic to. Still, many people experience a worsening of their allergies around springtime, when pollen counts are highest. While the pollen season may vary from year to year, historically we see increases of asthma-related ED visits in April and May.”

Spring allergies can start as early as February and last until summer. The Philadelphia Department of Heath reminds everyone that rising tree pollen concentrations over the coming weeks will exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms.

If you or a family member suffers from hay fever or allergic rhinitis, here are some helpful tips to keep symptoms in check:

  • Leave the pollen outside. Take your shoes off at the door as much as possible, to keep from spreading pollen through your house.
  • Close your windows and dust your fans. Despite the nice weather, true sufferers should keep the windows shut to prevent allergens from entering. If you use a ceiling fan, give it a good spring cleaning. Replace air filters in your home and car.
  • Be thorough in your spring cleaning. Wash down your walls, get rid of clutter, launder all sheets and comforters, dust and clean blinds, baseboards and everywhere else you can reach.
  • Keep your immune system strong. Eat fresh, clean, nutrient rich foods and stay active. The healthier your immune system, the more equipped your body is to battle histamines.
  • Be aware of the pollen count. It changes daily.
  • Sip warm beverages. Herbal teas can help ease congestion and keep you hydrated.

In addition to tips for avoiding allergy triggers, there are many effective treatments to minimize symptoms. Enjoy all the wonderful experiences spring has to offer by talking with your doctor about the best allergy prevention or treatment path for you. If you need help finding a primary care physician or ENT specialist, visit the Find A Doctor section on this site. Dr. Karnik is accepting new patients. Visit WWW.MYCHESTNUTHILLDOC.COM for more information.

Chestnut Hill Hospital (CHH) is a community-based, university-affiliated, teaching hospital committed to excellent patient-centered care. CHH provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient, diagnostic and treatment services for our neighbors in northwest Philadelphia and eastern Montgomery County. More than 300 board-certified physicians comprise the medical staff and support medical specialties including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, cardiology, gynecology, oncology, orthopedics, urology, family practice and internal medicine. Our comprehensive services include primary care practices, two women’s centers and an off-site physical therapy center. CHH is affiliated with university-hospitals in Philadelphia for heart and stroke care, as well as our hospitalist and residency programs. Chestnut Hill has 130-beds and is accredited by the Joint Commission.