It is officially spring, which means warmer weather and flowers blooming – but this also means people sneezing and sniffling because of the pollen.
Nurse Practitioner Kris Bartee with the Texan Allergy and Sinus Center has been very busy the past couple of weeks helping his patients with their allergies. He says the rain from this past fall is to blame for the high pollen counts this year.
“Sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes,“ Bartee says.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are not alone. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The spring right now we are seeing, oak and other trees are starting to bloom. As we get into the summer, the grasses really pick up. In the fall, we will have ragweeds and other weeds and over the winter is when cedar season kicks in,“ Bartee says.
Weather can play a major role in the higher pollen counts.
“During an actual rain storm, we are having pollen knocked out of the air and washed away. The downside to that is later on, that extra water helps the plants bloom and you end up with a higher pollen count than usual,“ Bartee explains.
Dry and breezy weather can also distribute the pollen faster creating more allergy symptoms. Bartee says you will want to get over-the-counter medicine to help.
“If the over-the-counter medications and things like that aren’t sufficient to control your symptoms and it’s starting to affect your quality of life, that’s when you might want to look at being seen by an allergist,“ Bartee explains.
Cold and allergies have the same symptoms, but there are ways to tell them apart.
“Allergies will generally not cause any type of fever, and you don’t have a lot of joint pains with allergies either – where you may with other infections,“ Bartee says.
You can find the pollen count numbers by clicking here.