It’s the worst week of the year for asthmatics and allergies! Third week of September is ‘peak week’ for condition-related ER visits, expert warns, as illnesses such as epidemic flu and pollen counts reach seasonal highs
- Experts warn third week of September is ‘peak week’ for asthma and allergy complications
- A combination of high ragweed prevalence and the start of flu season is leading to an increase in doctor visits
- About 15% of Americans suffer from ragweed pollen allergies, which exacerbate asthma symptoms
- Dr. Robert McDermott recommends allergy sufferers seek care that can ease their symptoms
A combination of ragweed pollen and the start of flu season could make this the worst week of the year for allergy and asthma sufferers in the United States, an expert warns.
AllerVie-certified allergist and immunologist Dr Robert McDermott told DailyMail.com that the third week of September – between the 18th and 24th of this year – is often a time when doctors report a big spike in visits related to allergies and asthma. The period has earned the title of “peak week” among experts.
Indeed, ragweed, one of the most common fall allergens, is reaching one of its highest pollen counts of the year in parts of America, combined with the onset of flu season and the return to school across the country, which has accelerated the spread of infectious diseases. sickness.
McDermott recommends that parents of children with severe asthma or allergies provide a school nurse with any medications their child may need in the event of severe symptoms. Adults who suffer from severe asthma or allergies can also seek medical attention, as there are effective allergy treatments that many are completely unaware of.
The third week of September, from the 18th to the 24th this year, is considered the “peak week” for allergies by experts due to the upsurge in complications from the flu and airborne ragweed pollen. (file photo)
“The peak allergy week is the third week of September when we see the largest increase in asthma exacerbations and an increase in allergy symptoms in patients across the United States,” McDermott said.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that asthma episodes and attacks will increase throughout September as multiple factors combine to cause problems for sufferers.
Ragweed, which is prevalent along the East Coast and Midwest, begins to become fully developed in late August.
AllerVie-certified allergist and immunologist Dr Robert McDermott (pictured) said he expects the flu to rebound this year after quiet seasons in recent years
In mid to late September, the weeds released pollen spores en masse into the environment, causing problems for the roughly 15% of Americans who suffer from allergies.
For people with asthma, this can get worse, as their already restricted airways can become constricted. This can cause shortness of breath and trigger an asthma attack in the most severe cases.
The flu rash will also make things worse. Cases of common respiratory illnesses will begin to rise in the coming weeks, with late September usually being the start of the spike.
Combine that with schools, which have fully reverted to in-person learning across the United States, being breeding grounds for flu outbreaks.
Although rarely fatal, the common flu is still often dangerous for people with asthma.
It can cause inflammation of the airways, narrowing or even closing them, triggering asthma symptoms.
Some fear this could also be a particularly problematic flu season, as Australia – whose flu season runs through the US summer months – had its worst flu season in half a decade this year, with rates of peak cases reaching heights three times higher than usual.
McDermott says parents should equip their child with allergy medication and devices that can help manage their asthma if needed this week (file photo)
With the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted the spread of the flu for the past two years, many don’t have the antibodies to fight it off as easily as they once did, leading to more cases and more severe infections.
McDermott expects the flu to return to normal levels in the United States this year as well, which will pose more problems for people with asthma and allergies.
However, those at risk for more severe symptoms should not simply accept their suffering.
McDermott recommends people take active steps this week and throughout the fall to protect themselves.
For children, parents should ensure they have allergy medication and devices such as an asthma inhaler at school. These can even be given to a school nurse for safekeeping.
He recommends adults talk to a healthcare professional about treatment to manage their allergies and to make their immune system less “overactive” when exposed to inflammatory triggers like pollen.
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