Global Warming Creates Perfect Storm of Allergens

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Chicago, IL, July 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- We don't often stop to consider the "whys" of itchy spring eyes, hot summer days, and sneezy autumn mornings. We stock up on over-the-counter allergy medicine, stay indoors, and when we can't take it anymore, schedule an appointment with an allergist. Chicago's Dr. Brian Rotskoff of Clarity Allergy Center is among the many breathing experts across the country with schedules packed full of children and adults desperate for relief from debilitating allergy and asthma symptoms.

Could it be that climate change is the root of all this suffering? Research says yes. Studies repeatedly show that changes in the climate are directly impacting the air we breathe. Environmental allergies are undeniably on the rise due to the prevalence and expanding varieties of aeroallergens that trigger allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, sinus headaches, chronic cough, and year-round allergies. What's happening, believes Dr. Rotskoff, is really a perfect storm of allergen boosters.

"Global warming is bringing hotter temperatures, higher carbon dioxide levels (CO2), and increasing precipitation levels. These three things, especially in combination, create a prime breeding ground for allergic plant life," Dr. Rotskoff explains. "Not only does our environment contain more allergens, but they're spreading quickly and gaining potency; they're exploding at alarming rates."

So how do we beat this "strength in numbers" epidemic? Education and prevention are a good start. Better breathing begins by understanding your own allergy triggers and then learning how to navigate exposure. Dr. Rotskoff suggests keeping a journal of when your symptoms are at their worst. That information, layered with allergy testing, helps isolate your individual triggers.

"What was once a brief and manageable allergy season, has spread to the majority of the year," says Dr. Rotskoff. "Climate change and environmental allergies are creating a true quality of life crisis. Many of my patients have more bad months than good, and allergy meds just fall short. That's when it's time for targeted pro-active treatment like immunotherapy."

Patients of all ages benefit from environmental immunotherapy, available in the form of allergy shots or allergy drops. Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) block symptoms by targeting environmental allergies at the source. Dr. Rotskoff custom blends each patient's immunotherapy based on the results of their in-office allergy tests. From there, he explains treatment options for administering the immunity builder.

"Choosing allergy shots or drops really depends on the patient and their lifestyle," Dr. Rotskoff says. "Both are highly effective; we start to see results in a matter of weeks and with consistent treatment, allergies are nearly gone in a year or so." Maintenance treatment continues for about 3-5 years.

Allergy shots take place in-office, usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Allergy drops are taken at home each morning, making the shot-free treatment great for kids and busy adults. Dr. Rotskoff also offers cluster immunotherapy to speed up the treatment cycle. By designing a condensed allergy shot regimen he helps patients achieve immunity, sometimes in a matter of just 6 weeks.

"Cluster immunotherapy is really designed for adults who are willing to show up a couple times a week for a quick shot. It may not sound fun, but compared to a lifetime of allergies, it's a relatively quick--and permanent--fix," adds Dr. Rotskoff.

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Source: Clarity Allergy Center