Allergies are extremely common, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe and even life-threatening. Any allergic reaction to a substance, whether it's a food, pollen, pet, or a medication, begins when your immune system mistakes an ordinary substance for a dangerous enemy.

The immune system is designed to repel harmful invaders such as bacteria or viruses. It mobilizes to flag the invading organisms by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies which then call other body chemicals to the scene to fight off the invaders and sweep them up. In an allergic reaction, these chemicals cause the symptoms you feel on your skin, or in your airways, or digestive tract.

  • The most common allergens include:
  • Pollen from grasses, trees, or flowers
  • Dust or mold
  • Foods including peanuts and tree nuts
  • Insect stings
  • Animal dander
  • Medications
  • Latex

It's important to understand that people suffering with allergies in New Jersey can live healthy, active lives once they know and understand what triggers their reactions. Effective medications can prevent or lessen symptoms. Those whose reactions are life-threatening can carry medication to reverse the allergic process, giving them time to seek emergency medical care.

Ragweed Pollen

Guidelines for Pollen Allergy Sufferers

Reduce your exposure to pollens and decrease your symptoms. Some suggestions for accomplishing this include:

  • Keep windows closed, especially your bedroom windows, during allergy season.
  • Use air conditioner and/or electric air purifier to remove particles from the air. Clean filters in these units regularly and rinse or spray with a mold inhibitor.
  • Damp dust surfaces daily.
  • Do not dry or air outdoors any blankets, pillows, sheets, pillowcases, draperies, etc.
  • No pets in the bedroom. They carry pollen as well as dander. Wash hands immediately after touching pets.
  • Remove clothing worn outdoors and place immediately in laundry room. Wash hands and face after outdoor activities. Shower including washing hair, before bedtime.
  • Store shows in a closed cabinet.
  • Vacuum frequently all carpeted surfaces, draperies, and non‐washable clothing (jackets, etc.) Use clothes dryer on air to freshen pillows, blankets, and non‐washable clothing.

Plan ahead. An ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure. Wear a filter mask if you must cut the lawn, do house cleaning, rake, etc.

  • Wear glasses or goggles when bike riding or out on windy days.
  • Avoid riding in cars with windows down or in a convertible.
  • If you use antihistamines, take a dose prior to exposure such as picnicking, hiking, etc.
  • Pollen is heaviest when temperatures and humidity fall. If you must be outdoors or open windows,
    avoid doing so during these peak hours.