Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring In New York City: Crocus Hunting & Pollen Allergies

As a New York City Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Asthma practice, we have a love hate relationship with the spring. Of course we love seeing all of the flowers and trees beginning to bloom, but we have a tough time with the pollen they release into the air, which causes a lot of our allergies to act up.

However, spring means the end to the cold winter, so we welcome the season change and the warm weather it brings. And since we are located in Manhattan, we do look forward to one thing in particular: crocus hunting in Central Park! During the first week of March, we go on an annual crocus hunt, looking for the first flowers of the season to bloom! Now, for those of you who don’t know what crocuses are, here is a picture of some of the beautiful flowers we found last weekend during our hunt.

As soon as they start blooming in Central Park, we know that spring is here, and the coldest months of winter are behind us. Crocus flowers usually start blooming around the first few weeks in March.

The downside to the beautiful spring vegetation is that we also know what’s going to happen next. Over the next few weeks, other beautiful flowers, trees, grasses and weeds are going to start blooming, polluting the air with a lot of pollen.

According to WebMD, the biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen, which are tiny grains released into the air by weeds, trees, and grasses for the purpose of fertilizing other plants. When pollen grains get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the immune system into overdrive.

Your immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as foreign invaders, and releases antibodies -- substances that normally identify and attack bacteria, viruses, and other illness-causing organisms. These antibodies attack the allergens, which leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of allergies.

If you feel like this battle may be going on inside of your body, you may have allergies.

If you are interested in finding out if you have allergies, what you are allergic to and how your symptoms can be cured, we are here to help. Give us a call to schedule an appointment, or simply click here to book online