Statistics reinforce “worst allergy season” claims
Higher-than-usual pollen counts brought on by warm weather and low precipitation amounts have caused countless news organizations to declare that this year's allergy season is the worst ever, or at least the worst seen in a generation. While anecdotal evidence has certainly supported this notion, a new Gallup poll confirms these suspicious without much question.
This month, 22.8 percent of respondents reported suffering from allergy symptoms on any given day, which is higher than both the 20.8 percent rate observed in April 2011 and 21.8 percent figure from April 2010.
In addition, the number of individuals reporting allergy symptoms each month of this year have outpaced the figures observed in the last two years consistently through the first four months of 2012, suggesting that an earlier-than-usual allergy season has had an effect on some individuals.
Researchers cautioned that widespread media reports about allergy season could have caused some consumers to believe they are suffering from allergy symptoms and not a cold or flu.
"While it may be difficult for sufferers and medical professional alike to distinguish the symptoms of allergies from colds, the flu, asthma and other illnesses with similar effects, it is worth noting that self-reports of allergies are up this year, while self-reports of the flu and colds are not," researchers write.
Should allergy season continue to develop at this pace and with this intensity, more individuals will continue to suffer through their symptoms into early summer. These unfortunate few may need to use a variety of treatment strategies to achieve relief, including a regular allergy medication regimen, a saline rinse, a HEPA air purifier and even immunotherapy if conditions refuse to improve.
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