Allergy seasons are starting earlier and lasting longer, and some allergy specialists say climate change is to blame. Allergy and asthma specialist Dr. Jay Portnoy says there are more over-the-counter and prescription medications available today to help people breathe easier. Click to hear Portnoy.

Dr. Jay Portnoy

“So people who have asthma may be doing okay right now, but it’s going to start getting worse as the month progresses. So they need to be vigilant. The last week of September is the peak of the asthma season. We have more admissions to the hospital on that week than any other week of the year.”‘

Dr. Portnoy says this time of year can be tricky for people determining what their symptoms really indicate, because September is also peak season for the common cold. Click to hear Portnoy.

Dr. Jay Portnoy

“Those are associated with low-grade fever, sore throat, more of a pain type of thing as opposed to the sneezy, itchy type of thing. Problem is, that we have ragweed and colds at the same time. So in many cases people have both, and that’s a double whammy.”

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates 36-million people suffer from seasonal allergies.

September is expected to become more of a problem in the coming weeks as mold and dust mites are added to the mix.

Dr. Portnoy says effective management with medicines before symptoms begin is key to surviving seasonal allergies.