For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
March came in like a lamb, which promises to leave a lion's share
of pollen for allergy sufferers who can anticipate an early and
extended season of agony this spring, said an allergy expert at
the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
Early Arrival of Spring Promises an Extended Pollen Season for
"The unusually mild weather gives impetus to an early spring
and that translates into an intense release of pollen-producing
tree buds, grasses and weeds weeks ahead of schedule," said Dr.
Leonard Bielory, director of the Asthma and Allergy Research Center
at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark. "Patients have
started calling with allergy complaints and I'm already seeing
patients who are experiencing allergies as the 2004 season begins."
Nagging sneezing fits, in addition to itchy, teary eyes, are
the symptoms associated with the arrival of the pollen season.
"People with pollen allergies needs to see their physicians now
and begin taking medications before the pollen count increases
dramatically," Dr. Bielory said. "The earlier you treat the problem,
the sooner you will minimize the symptoms."
Treatments range from over-the-counter medications to alternative
medicine approaches, such as herbal nasal sprays, to prescription
medications. "Keeping windows shut at home and in the car also
may minimize exposure and discomfort, "Dr. Bielory said.
Pollen can serve as a primary trigger for life-threatening asthma
attacks. "Allergies, in fact, account for about 90 percent of
all pediatric asthma cases and contributes to at least half of
all adult asthma cases," he said.
Dr. Bielory is available to discuss the early arrival of pollen
season and some of the new medications available. To arrange an
interview, call Tom Capezzuto of the UMDNJ News Service at (973)
A daily pollen count, in English and Spanish, is accessible by
calling UMDNJ's 24-hour hotline at (973) 972-6518. A pollen count
fact sheet also is attached to provide additional information. A
new Web site-http://pollen.umdnj.edu-also has been established to
assist allergy sufferers.