This is a challenging time of year for those with seasonal allergies, particularly with sensitivity to trees.
Dr. Anne Ellis, chair of the Division of Allergy and Immunology in the Department of Medicine at Queen's University, says there are some trees that cause more "potent" allergies than others.
“Birch is the most potent of tree allergies we get exposed to this time of year, it’s pretty much died off now, oak comes a little later and it’s still circulating, maple is still circulating…but the dominant driver right now is definitely grass pollen.”
Dr. Ellis says newer non-sedating antihistamines such as Allegra and Blexten, which is available by prescription, can be more effective and safer than older antihistamines like Benadryl. She adds that nasal corticosteroids are very effective for hay fever symptoms. Dr. Ellis adds that if medications are not working, seeing an allergist can get to the root of your symptoms.
“We can prescribe a customized immunotherapy…to train your immune system to no longer have your ongoing seasonal allergies… your immune system becomes accustomed to it by taking small amounts of the allergen…It won’t work if you’re in the throws of the season, you have to plan for next year.”
According to Dr. Ellis, spring allergy season typically wraps up by mid-July.
Listen to the full CFRC interview with Dr. Anne Ellis below: