“The number one addiction in this country is not marijuana or cocaine,” says Dr. Jeffrey Adelglass, “it’s nasal spray.” Adel-glass, an allergy specialist with offices in Irving and Carrollton, is serious. He estimates that more than 20 percent of all people in the Metroplex suffer from allergies and contribute a sizable share to the annual $1 billion-plus over-the-counter allergy-product trade.
What’s more, the Dallas/Fort Worth area is one of the worst places in the entire country for allergy sufferers, says Adelglass, who lists the area’s flat terrain and notorious shifting winds as major contributors to the pollen problem. And this summer is expected to be one of the worst allergy seasons on record because of the past mild winter.
The consequences of allergies are nothing to sneeze at, says Adelglass. One of the leading causes of absenteeism in schools for children is allergies, and an estimated five million days of work are lost for adults annually. But for those whose constant companion is a handkerchief, there is good news as well. A new testing method may revolutionize allergy diagnosis and treatment. The new process depends on a computerized system that tests blood samples for all the allergens in a particular area. No longer does an allergy sufferer have to be scratched and tested with innumerable allergens to locate the few-or many-that plague him.
With a push of a button, Adelglass can pull up a listing of all the pollens in any given zip code anywhere in the country. The computer then matches a sufferer’s blood test with the pollens in that person’s zip code. Thais a tall order, considering that most areas in the Metroplex are home to more than sixty different pollens from molds, trees, grasses, and weeds. The computer also lets Adelglass know the time of year when each pollen is at its worst.
Many of us are familiar with pollen counts from the weather reports that list the high pollen for each day. These counts, however, don’t give much help to a layperson, says Adelglass. “The most an allergy sufferer can get out of the nightly pollen count is to notice a trend in certain pollens and then take action against them.” His best advice for allergy sufferers: “If you’re allergic, don’t move to an area with a high pollen count. You’ll just be in for trouble. If you’re already there, take a long vacation at the time of year that troubles you most.”
For a free copy of the pollens haunting your zip code, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Dr. Jeffrey Adelglass. 4333 Josey Lane, Suite 101, Car-rollton. Texas 75010.