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Gesundheit! Spring allergy season is underway

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Ahhhh, spring! Sunshine, flowers in bloom, and the return of baseball (Go Giants!). But as much as I welcome the change after an especially rainy winter, I loathe the allergy season that comes with it.

Well, it looks like my love/hate relationship with spring will be tested to the limit. Over the weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article quoting experts who said this allergy season is "heavier than usual." Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, an allergist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, commented that it’s going to be rough for the 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies. "It's not like they're kidney transplant patients, but on a daily basis, allergies can be really debilitating," she said.

There are a handful of medications and treatments available to help combat the sneezing and congestion, but Nadeau says the key thing is to avoid your exposure to the allergens. "Avoidance is the No. 1 thing we advise people. If you're allergic to the cat, relocate the cat. If you're allergic to the trees, avoid going outside as much as possible."

And for those of you who are lucky enough to be immune from allergies, here’s a little colorful tidbit:

A non-sufferer will produce as little as half a cup of mucus every day, but studies have shown that someone with allergies can produce 1 to 3 gallons a day... That's close to 20 large Starbucks cups. Every day.

Photo by William Brawley

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