Allergy doctors expect intense season

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) –  Winter-like conditions in the area appear to be over, but the effects of the harsh winter could make for an intense allergy season this spring and summer.  An allergy doctor said Tuesday he expected people’s allergy symptoms to begin intensifying within the next month.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 40 million American suffer from seasonal allergies.

“Typically at this time of year, you already see some things bloom,” Dr. Jim Parkerson, who specializes in allergy and Immunology at the Asthma and Allergy Center on Leo Road, said.  “We haven’t seen that yet, so when things start to bloom, they’ll all go at once and therefore it’s going to be more intense than what you typically would see.”

The National Institute of Environmental Health Services said pollen levels peak in the early to late morning.  They’re also higher on dry, warm, and windy days, and will be lower after a rainfall.

“The pollen meter has already started to bounce a little,” Parkerson said.  “I anticipate in the next month the allergy season to really take off.”

To help reduce your allergy symptoms, it’s recommended that you wash your face and eyes, and wash your hair before going to bed.  “You accumulate pollen during the day,” Dr. Clifford Bassett said on CBS This Morning.  “You take that pollen and transfer it to your bed sheets, and then you wake up feeling awful.”

Other tips include:

  • Wear sunglasses and a hat.
  • Don’t use hair gel.
  • Avoid melons, apples, celery, and almonds.

“Get tested, Bassett, the medical director at the Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, said.  “Find out if you have a sinus problem or an allergy.  Once you know that, we can create an allergy calendar.  You want to pretreat two weeks before the symptoms kick in.”

Bassett also said allergies in cities are worse, too.  Most cities now use male plants because they produce less debris.  However, they also carry more pollinates.  “Air pollution hangs onto pollens,” he said.  “It makes it more allergenic.  It supercharges the pollen.”

Parkerson said the allergy season will be worse for people will minor and major symptoms.  “Those who have minor allergies, they may need to take medicine a little longer than they have in the past,” he said.  “Those who have bad allergies, they need to start now.  That way they go into this more intense season already armed, rather than playing catch up.  When you play catch up, you struggle all season long.”

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