Allergy season worse than normal

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Doctors across the country have said they’re seeing people coming in for allergy treatments who have never had any problems before.

Dr. Jim Parkerson with the Asthma and Allergy Center in Fort Wayne said in the last six weeks more people have been coming in with acute symptoms.

“They say either this is the worst my allergies have ever been or I’ve never had trouble before,” Parkerson said.

The winter weather is the main reason behind the awful allergies. Wet winters cause trees to produce more pollen and the recent tempertaure fluctuations are problematic.

“Whenever you have dramatic spikes and temperatures go from being very warm to suddenly very cool like we did last week, that also causes a spike in pollen production,” Parkerson said.

Usually over-the-counter antihistamines will control watery eyes and a runny nose, but it’s important to take the medicine consistently, even if symptoms aren’t present at the moment.

“It’s helpful because if you take some medicines, like some nose sprays, they take four days to ramp up to full effectiveness, so if you take it on Monday and don’t take it again until Friday, you’ll never get the max benefit from that medicine and you’re kind of wasting your money,” Dr. Parkerson said. “If you know you have symptoms in April, you’d ideally start the medicine a week before. It’s kind of like going out in the rain. You get a lot less wet if you put the rain coat on before rather than trying to put it on on the way to the car.”

If you’re not sure if you have allergies, you should be tested by a doctor to know for sure.

Parkerson also suggested closing windows at home and in the car and using the air conditioner instead. He also said not to dry laundry on a line outside if you have allergies because pollen will get on the clean clothes. Wearing a mask and gloves when mowing the lawn or doing yard work can help prevent allergy attacks and wearing sunglasses when outside will also help keep pollen out of the eyes.

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