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Allergy attack: Warmer weather ushers in an earlier season


A mild winter may be setting the stage for a particularly strong spring allergy season for sufferers allergic to tree pollens and mold. The incidence of seasonal allergy has been soft of late, but IMS Health is predicting a significant uptick in allergy sufferers in the coming months.

“It’s all relative,” Scott Hanslip, IMS Consumer Health director sales, shared with DSN Collaborative Care. Incidence across the 2011 fall allergy season was relatively flat; however, those allergy sufferers are being compared against fall  2010, which was a particularly strong season. Conversely, this coming spring season is expected to recover from what was considered a slow season last year at this time. “We’re expecting a fairly strong spring [allergy season] in 2012. We’re going to see more of a turn back to normalized conditions,” he said.

And this year the stronger spring allergy season will be felt particularly hard in the North and Northeast, where there is a strong predominance of allergy sufferers, Hanslip added.

Many allergy experts already have taken note of an early start to the spring allergy season on account of a mild winter — high tree pollens have been triggering allergies about a month earlier this year. And

while rain tends to keep tree pollen counts from getting too high, that

warmer weather combined with moisture make for ideal mold conditions.

Spring typically is considered to be a tree pollen season, followed by a prevalence of grass pollen allergens in the summer and ragweed allergens in the fall. Mold is considered a year-round allergy trigger but peaks in the spring when damp and rainy conditions, followed by warmer weather, lead to a high concentration of mold.

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