Go easy on the wheezing, sneezing people who complain it’s the most miserable allergy season in years.
Their doctors agree.
“It’s a bad year, no question about that,” said Dr. Terance Kordash at Marycliff Allergy Specialists. “I think it’s worse than we’ve seen in the past four or five years.”
Symptoms are so intense that even reliable medications aren’t working like they usually do.
“People are miserable,” said Dr. John Morgan, a South Hill allergist. “The allergies are breaking through their medications.”
Even people who haven’t had allergy symptoms for years are adding their names to doctors’ overflowing appointment books.
They’re congested. They have runny noses. Their eyes itch and water. They have coughs and sore throats. Some have asthma and skin rashes.
This week, however, allergists expect patients will gradually begin leaving home without fistfuls of Kleenex, as grass pollen subsides.
“We think that in July things should really calm down,” said Kordash.
Doctors aren’t certain why allergies have been so intense this year. They suspect weather patterns.
“Lots of moisture last winter and then heavy rainfall interspersed with hot, sunny days,” said Morgan. “That’s perfect conditions for growing pollen and heavy molds.”
Dr. Robert Stier, a retired allergist, blames the rough season on coinciding pine and grass pollen. Both hit in late May and early June.
“Usually the pine is a good week or so ahead of the grass, but every once in awhile they do coincide,” said Stier. “What you see and feel seems worse to patients.”
Take advantage of the relatively low pollen count this month.
The next big burst of allergens is just around the corner, said Kordash. “In August and September, we’ll start seeing weed pollen in the air.”
In the meantime, here are some tips for allergy sufferers:
Keep doors and windows closed at home. Most screens don’t keep pollen out.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down surfaces that may collect dust and pollen.
Get help from pharmacists or doctors to avoid more serious complications, such as sinus infections.
Avoid exercising outdoors early in the day when pollen counts are higher.
Change clothes after being outside.
Bathe and wash hair after being outdoors and before going to bed.
Use air conditioning to filter air in the house.
Keep car windows closed.
Limit activities on windy days.