Health Advice



This allergy season is something to sneeze at

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Misty May-Treanor, three-time gold medalist in beach volleyball, was batting away allergy symptoms as she spiked the ball over the net. Scarlett Johansson is extremely allergic to grass and trees. Even Jon Bon Jovi contends with allergies: "I never worry about singing or playing or ... anything like that. I'm more into, 'Can I breathe tonight?'"

Well, for that trio and 60 million other Americans, seasonal and year-round allergy symptoms could be getting worse. It seems that climate change leads to higher pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons. U.S. data from 1995 to 2014 reveals how it has already started to happen, and according to a new study in Nature Communications, by the end of the century, the pollen season here will start up to 40 days earlier and last up to 19 days longer.

Allergies to pollen (and to indoor irritants like dust mites, smoke, pet dander and mold) can cause rhinitis -- plugged sinuses, drippy nose, sore throat, sneezing and wheezing. If you're having a hard time this spring, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology says you may want to try allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy tablets -- an under-the-tongue daily therapy. They can reduce symptoms substantially or even conquer the allergy. There are also non-drowsy allergy pills, sprays and decongestants for immediate relief.

To check pollen levels and find out about medications, visit the National Allergy Bureau (with 80 stations reporting pollen levels nationally) and the AAAAI Drug Guide at; search for "National Allergy Bureau" and for "Drug Guide."



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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