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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Pollen

131216OSMtravelallergiesWe frequently get calls from patients who’ve either lost or forgotten medications when they are traveling. If you suffer from allergies and asthma, consider these six tips before you head out on vacation:

1. See your physician: Before you go on that well-deserved trip, see your physician and let him or her know your travel destination. Discuss concerns you might have, especially if you know you are going to be exposed to something you are allergic to, such as a friend’s cat or dog. Your doctor may be able to provide helpful advice.


From heating foods to boiling to crossing pollen with fruit, scientists are working on new and interesting ways to help those with food or oral allergies prevent severe reactions. Here’s a look into some of the research.

Milk and egg allergy research

It might seem counterintuitive to give a patient with a food allergy that particular food. But studies show that doing so may actually help patients tolerate them. Such seems to be the case in children who’ve been given highly heated milk or eggs on a regular basis.


If you or your child has asthma or allergies, here are some tips to make a smooth transition from warm sunny days to cool, wet weather and the start of viral season.

School tips:

Oregon Allergy Associates team member Tracy Willemsen volunteering as part of the hospitality team at the Olympic Trials.

With our prior experience with elite athletes dating back to the Olympic Trials in Eugene in 1980 and spanning multiple local, regional, national and international events in the last 32 years, our staff and doctors were proud to volunteer as part of this year’s medical team and serve other aspects of the Olympic Trials. It’s exciting to know that “Tracktown USA”, may become the permanent host to the Olympic Trials.

Oak Street Medical nurse Judy Moran checks bags as fans pour into Hayward Field.

This means that many events are held during grass pollen season, when as much as 20 percent of athletes, as well as fans, have increased symptoms associated with their allergies and asthma. Therefore, our services are in high demand, especially for elite athletes who strive for peak performance during competition. Fortunately, we were able to control symptoms of many of athletes, as well as fans, such that our unique grass pollen level was not a factor.

Tagged in: Olympics Pollen

The Olympic Trials are coming to Eugene for the fifth time in 40 years, June 22 through July 1. Please join Oak Street Medical and Oregon Allergy Associates as we prepare for the Trials and the “Best Team Ever,” which is this year’s theme. For 33 years, Oregon Allergy Associates has provided pollen counts and medical assistance to elite athletes during the Trials.

Who can forget the Olympic Trials of 2008, which were a stunning success. The plans for the 2012 Olympic Trials call for an even bigger and better event, but with the same asthma- and allergy-related challenges. Due to our high levels of grass pollen, particularly in June, allergies and asthma can greatly affect some athletes. Eugene’s grass pollen counts are more than ten times higher than what some of the competitors experience in their hometowns.

Tagged in: Olympics Pollen

Summer is here, and for many families that means camping! If you or your child has asthma or allergies, follow these simple tips to ensure that your camping trip is a success:

  • Air out the tent before your trip, and check the tent and any tarps for mold. Use liquid bleach diluted with hot water to remove any mold.
  • At the campsite, find a grassy spot to set up your tent. If you are allergic to grass, find a cleared area, but avoid stirring up a lot of dirt.
  • If you are weed pollen allergic, beware of camping in open meadows in July and August.
  • Campfires can be significant irritants for those with asthma and allergies. Try to sit farther from the fire, move away if the wind starts blowing smoke toward you. And change your clothes after sitting near the campfire.
  • Bees, yellow jackets and other stinging insects often hover near campsites. If you are allergic to stings, always bring along an Epi Pen and antihistamine. Avoid sugary drinks and the wearing of scents and bright colors, which attract stinging insects.
  • Most importantly, bring all your asthma and allergy medications with you, even those you might not think you’ll need. For asthmatic patients, consider bringing along a back-up supply of prednisone in case of an asthma attack.


Have you ever been outside on a bright sunny day and watched the wind blow the cottonwood seeds across the path? About that time, you start to sneeze and notice that your eyes are watery and itchy and your nose is congested.

A reasonable assumption would be that the cottonwood seed is causing the symptoms because you can visibly see it. However, for most people here in the Willamette Valley, it is the grass pollen in the air that is the real culprit.

Tagged in: Pollen

In the Willamette Valley, May not only brings with it tree pollens but it also heralds the beginning of grass season – a time when many asthma and allergy patients really begin to sneeze and wheeze.

May is "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month," according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), which every year releases a list of "Allergy Capitals in the U.S."

Tagged in: Asthma Pollen

Posted by on in Allergy

While the first day of spring doesn’t arrive until March 20, by February we’re already beginning to see tree pollens floating through the air here, in Eugene. One of the most prevalent pollens this time of year comes from the hazelnut tree, also known as the filbert tree.

altOregon filbert tree

In most parts of the country, tree pollen season lasts from March until May, but in the west, due to warmer winter temperatures, our tree pollen season starts as early as February and can last until June. A pollen allergy is seasonal, so knowing when specific pollens will be at their peak can be helpful in treating and avoiding reactions.

Tagged in: Pollen