What is a Pollen Vortex?

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This winter will go down in infamy as the first time people all across Canada became intimately familiar with the term "Polar Vortex." It was a miserable encounter for most of us. Just when we thought it was over, we learned the weather isn't done with us just yet. People across the country are experiencing a serious up-tick in the effects of seasonal allergies, and they're taking advantage of their health and dental insurance coverage to get sweet relief.

At least now we know why we’re suffering so much this year. Hot on the heels of the polar vortex, climatologists have a theory about the “pollen vortex” in our midst.

Pollen Vortex

Put in the simplest terms, this year’s long, brutal winter delayed spring in many parts of the country. The delayed arrival of spring meant that trees that usually flower early in the season released their sneeze-triggering pollen after the arrival of warmer weather. This just happened to be at the same time as those trees that bloom later in the season, creating a perfect storm of misery for allergy sufferers.

The problem with shorter, more intense allergy seasons is that they can overwhelm the immune system of those who are intensely affected by seasonal allergies. For most people, an allergy flare-up is a short-lived nuisance that passes fairly quickly. However, in some sufferers this intense allergic reaction could set off more severe consequences such as a major asthma attack.

Surviving Allergy Season

For a lot of us, talking to a pharmacist to get a recommendation for the most effective over the counter remedy for your particular symptoms will be the best coping strategy this year. However, if you’re among the millions of Canadians who already suffer from asthma, you’ll have to take a few extra precautions as we head into the depths of ragweed season to head of serious complications.

Extra steps you can take include:

  • If you do use an inhaler, make sure you keep it with you at all times and use it at the first sign of asthma symptoms;
  • Talk to your doctor about new prescription options covered by your health insurance plan that can help keep symptoms at bay;
  • Though you’re probably used to checking the weather forecast for the chance of rain before scheduling outdoor activities, you can also visit the pollen report for your area on The Weather Network;
  • If it looks like the pollen count is going to be abnormally high when you’re planning an outdoor event, consider rescheduling to another time or another day. The pollen count is often much lower immediately after a bout of heavy rain.

When over the counter medications just aren’t cutting it to treat your allergies, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. Prescription remedies that are covered by your health and dental insurance plan will go a long way to make you feel better. Take heart, winter will be here soon enough!


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