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Dealing With Seasonal Allergies
March 14, 2014

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox About 10 to 30 percent of people suffer from allergic rhinitis each year.

Sniffles, sneezing, congestion, itchy, watery eyes-- they're all annoying but common seasonal allergy symptoms.

Zac Doss said he usually gets "annoying" mucus in the back of his throat.

For Doss, it's not too bothersome, but does affect his singing voice.

"I lead worship service at church, so allergy season is never fun, on a Sunday morning, especially in the mornings," he said.

Spring allergy season tends to start when the temperatures start getting warm.

"Pollens don't like cold air, so they aren't really released until it starts getting warm," Dr. Meagan Shepherd, an allergist and immunologist with Marshall Pediatrics said.

First comes tree pollen. In late spring, it's grass pollen, and in late summer, weeds. The harsh winter could actually cause a harsher-than-usual allergy season.

"If you have a prolonged winter, and then a lot of rain, and then a rapid warming up of the weather, that's when pollen levels get highest," Shepherd said.

She recommends avoidance, but if that's not possible, stay inside early in the day.

"When you are outdoors, try not to touch your eyes and your nose frequently, because pollens that you encounter you will then transfer to this area if you are touching it a lot," she said.

When you come inside, rinse and wash your hands thoroughly, and shower each night before you go to bed.

She said if you find yourself frequently buying over the counter medicine to treat symptoms that interfere with your life, you should check in with an allergist to see what you're allergic to, and how to treat it.

"It's very easy, actually. We can do a simple skin test. That's the most sensitive ways to determine allergy tests. It's a very brief procedure," she said.

If you're prescribed seasonal allergy medicine, now's the time to start taking it.

"They really need to be done daily to prevent symptoms," Shepherd said.

To find out more about how to check out pollen counts in your area, log on to:
http://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts.aspx
or
www.pollen.com


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