Being proactive fights allergies best

Posted at 4:45 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 21:19:56-05

Are your spring allergies starting to act up?

Well local doctors believe allergy season could be closer than we expect, especially with Kern County being so heavily involved in the farming and agriculture industry.

But if they are called "spring allergies", why are they starting to bug us now?

Senior Physician at The Practice, Jan Mensink, says that while the rain has helped tame the spread of dust and pollen, the warmer temperatures are bringing the allergy season in a little early.

"This is the time allergies start. We're a little bit early, depends on how much rain we have and when the fruit trees start to bud." said Mensink.

Last month 23 ABC was able to speak with a few local farmers who say these next few weeks are key for their crop to be pollinated. 

But this also means more pollen will now be in the air and could bring on those unwanted sneezes and itchy eyes.

"In the San Joaquin valley we have more allergies than most. Everybody that lives here knows that. Sixteen to 20 percent of the people according to CDC have allergy problems. That's when you think of it, that's one in five people. So it's not uncommon," said Mensink.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology -- in 2014 the United States made more than 13 million visits to health care professionals that turned out to be allergy related.

So how do we beat our allergies *now* and avoid the symptoms later?

"Probably the most important thing is the studies show that if you start your allergy treatment two weeks before the allergy season starts, you will do better than if you're sort of playing catch up with your allergies," said Mensink.

Web-MD concurs stating that starting medication at least two weeks in advance allows the antihistamine to work its way into your system helping fight off allergies.

"You want to keep your immune system, your general immune system up healthy. So that you don't have a low immune system. So that you can fight the allergies, because the allergy cells are really an over activation of your immune system," said Mensink.

Doctor Mensink also says what we eat and drink daily could also have an impact on symptoms.

"Stay away from sugar. Sugar, sugar, sugar...One teaspoon of sugar, just one teaspoon decreases your white cell immunity for about four hours to fight infection," said Mensink.

Mensink also says that being proactive with treatment is the best way to stay healthy.To get a daily allergy report click this link. OR download our new mobile and tablet app.