Spring brings flurry of pollen (and sneezes) to Bainbridge

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Spring has sprung, and with it came warmer weather and intermittent rain showers. But springtime also brings a massive amount of pollen wreaking havoc on the sinuses of everyone who suffers from seasonal allergies.
Approximately 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies, also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Seasonal allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose and eyes, are caused when the immune system overreacts to an allergen like pollen, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
“What’s unusual to me is how they change over time as you age,” said RX Drugs pharmacist Winston Brock, Jr. “You may be allergic to something when you’re young and it may change, or you can develop allergies later.”
According to a pollen allergy forecast, pollen levels will remain high for the rest of the week in Bainbridge as pollen-producing plants are currently at a steady level of pollination.
Many who suffer from mild or moderate seasonal, springtime allergies can find relief with over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra, Brock said.
“You can build up a tolerance to antihistamines, though,” Brock said. “It’s recommended to cycle them every three months.”
Brock said that those suffering from more severe symptoms may need diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient in Benadryl and can cause severe drowsiness.
Nasal sprays and neti pots are also options that can relieve allergy symptoms. Brock said that he recommends using a facemask when going outdoors for those with severe symptoms.
“A lot of people also don’t realize that pollen can stay on your clothes when you go in and outside, so they may want to change or make sure they wash well,” Brock said. “It will also come inside with cats and dogs.”

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