A Worse Allergy Season

Like 40 million other Americans, Katie Willhoit suffers from seasonal allergies every spring. But this year, her symptoms began earlier and are more severe.

“I used to start getting itchy eyes and sneezing around April but this year was a lot earlier,” said Willhoit. “My eyes are a lot more itchy, a lot more burning than they ever were before.”
If you are also coughing, sneezing, and rubbing your eyes more often now than in previous years, there’s a reason for that. Doctors say seasonal allergies are worse this year than last year.

Local allergy specialist Dr. Diane Ozog has seen more patients this year for seasonal allergies, some having experienced symptoms for the first time. Ozog attributes a worse allergy season this year to a very wet Winter and Spring.

“There’s a lot of moisture on the ground and more tree pollen and mold is in the air,” said Ozog.

Those allergens can lead to a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and congestion that can last for months, unlike the common cold. If left untreated, more critical complications could arise.

“A lot of times it stretches into chest pain, asthma, sinus infection, ear infections, [or] bronchitis,” said Ozog.

For those experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies, doctors recommend:
-Closing windows to prevent pollen from blowing into your home
-Using nasal sprays to clear your sinuses
-Taking antihistamines to alleviate symptoms
-Getting a skin test to see what potential allergens cause symptoms

As for Katie Willhoit – she hopes a quick nasal spray will provide enough relief to enjoy the Spring with her daughter.

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