Coping with Allergy Season - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/09/06

Coping with Allergy Season

Have you been sneezing a lot lately? Seeing a lot of yellow stuff on your cars? You're not alone. It's that time of year again--allergy season. And people all over the Coastal Empire and Low Country are starting to feel those springtime blues.

Springtime is usually the worst time for Dylan Cox of Savannah. "I'm allergic to pet dander, seasonal allergies, pollen, mold, dust, all of the above," he told us.

And Cox knows when those seasonal allergies start to kick in. "In the past couple weeks, I've been having more problems breathing." 

It's time to see his allergist. Dr. Monica Rama is just one of the allergy specialists at the Coastal Allergy and Asthma Clinic. She says this is prime time for allergies to flare up.

"We're seeing really high levels of tree pollen right now, particularly pine pollen," she told us.

Not to mention birch, maple, and cedar pollen. With so much in the air, people have been packing the clinic, trying to get rid of their symptoms, like nasal congestion, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

While there's no real way to prevent your allergies, there are things you can do to alleviate them. Keep track of pollen counts, either through your weather forecast or in the newspapers. Try to keep your windows closed in your house and car to limit exposure to the pollen.

And, avoid outdoor activities when pollen counts are the highest.

"We know that in the early morning hours and evening hours, the pollen counts tend to be a little bit higher," said Dr. Rama. "Avoiding activities during that time is useful."

Something that Cox is trying to do. "Vacuum a lot, try to keep the house clean, and not be outdoors during this time of year, if I can help it," he said.

But with allergy season just beginning, he knows he's in for a long spring.

Dr. Rama also says, if your symptoms are mild, over-the-counter medicines will be your best bet, but you should see a physician first to see which allergy drug is right for you.

Allergy shots are usually a last resort and have to be prescribed by a doctor.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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