Most Common Allergies in NYC

It is the time of the year where the New Yorkers, like the rest of the Americans, are under the attack of pollens –a major cause of allergic rhinitis. Being a New Yorker, you must have experienced the discomfort linked with allergic reactions.

According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 19.9 million Americans are diagnosed with this seasonal fever. Rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is not the only reaction you may be facing in this season.

If you have a hypersensitive immune system, you are at the potential risk of acquiring sinusitis, asthma, and other allergic reactions. Living in a city like New York increases the danger of contracting environmental and dietary reactions too.

How Allergies Happen

Allergies occur when our immune system overreacts to a harmless substance mistaking it as a foreign invasion. It then produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE) bodies against the allergen. These antibodies travel in the cells releasing chemicals like histamine, causing the allergy to happen.

The sensitivity of the reaction varies from person to person. The allergic symptoms may appear within a few minutes or may take time to be visible. The nature of the reaction is dependent upon the type of allergy and a person’s health record.

Is There Any Allergen Distinctive To New York?

Seasonal allergies are common to most of Americans. There is NO such allergen which is exclusive to New York, but we are prone to allergies more than any other American. There are several factors which make this city one of the most difficult ones to live during seasonal change –such as the weather, quality of air in the city, and the congested spaces.

Let us breakdown the common allergies and the factors aggravating them for New Yorkers.

Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

It is rare to be safe from hay fever, especially if you live in this part of the world. Rhinitis affects people of all ages. The common symptoms of hay fever are itching on the nose and mouth, swollen red-itchy eyes and runny nose.

  • Air carries pollen –a microscopic grain that plants produce for reproduction. Pollens are the root cause of spreading allergic reactions. A plant may pollinate itself, or the pollens may be transferred to another flower by wind or animals. The pollen count is different throughout the year. The higher the pollen count, the higher the chances of catching allergies.

Simple plants with no showy flowers produce the types of pollen that trigger allergies. These include trees, weeds, and grasses. One ragweed plant can produce as many as million pollen grains per day.

Male trees produce more pollens than their female counterparts. Ailantus (TK) trees, found in abundance in New York, generate relatively heavy pollens. Pollination usually takes place between 6a.m. and 10 a.m.  Avoid unnecessary outings during this time. Also, use air conditioners in rooms to filter pollens.

  • New York City is home to millions of people from different parts of the world. The apartments are smaller in size, and the space restrictions leave a little room for pets’ dander to hide. It is difficult to avoid contact with indoor pets. However, if you have a mild pet allergy, consider using vacuum cleaners to reduce the pet dander buildup.

Drug Allergies

Our bodies do not always react in conformity to medicines. Instead, the reaction is adverse. It usually happens when our immune system shows an inflammatory reaction to a certain medicine. The most common drug allergens are Pen—lin and sulfur.

Pen—lin comprises of six carbon benzene rings. On the other hand, Sulfur is found in water pills, anti-arthritis drugs & others.

The general symptoms are skin rash, itching, and facial swelling. If exacerbated, drug allergies lead to anaphylaxis – a life-threatening medical condition.

Food Allergies

New York is one of the most thickly populated cities of the world and offers a variety of scrumptious dishes to food lovers around the world. Having a food allergy is the last thing you would want to happen. If you are already allergic to a certain food, it is better to avoid it.

There are certain proteins in food that can trigger allergenic reactions. The reaction can be mild, causing a rash on the skin, tingling in the mouth or sore throat. In rare cases, a small bite of food you are allergic to can cause a drop in blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, and life.

Bottom Line

If you are a resident of New York City, stick to the basics –keep your house clean, avoid going out during pollination, and skip the food causing allergenic reactions.

 If the problem persists, contact us to schedule an appointment with the best allergist in NYC Dr. Sneeze.

Boyan Hadjiev, MD
30 East 40th Street
New York, NY 10016
212-319-5282

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