Allergy Season in Full Swing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/13/07

Allergy Season in Full Swing

Dr. Bruce Finkel Dr. Bruce Finkel

Ahhh.... spring is in the air! And so, unfortunately, is the pollen. Birch, pine, beech and elm to be exact. In fact, thanks to our mild winter, allergy season came early and may stay longer. Tuesday's pollen count was 189 parts per cubic meter. That number will only continue to climb as the season goes on.

For mothers like, Wendy Orvin, keeping her 5 year old daughter, Gracie, indoors during the warm weather is a tough job." Her eyes constantly water. She has to take Singulair and Zyrtec. Right now she does have the drainage going on," said Wendy," So it's a little bit harder for her to play outside."

Her daughter is just one of the many sufferers visiting the Coastal Allergy and Asthma Clinic this week. Dr. Bruce Finkel says they're all complaining of the same thing, itchy, red eyes, nasal congestion, and sneezing." The trees are blooming, the pollen is being pushed into the air, people are breathing it and having symptoms," explained Dr. Finkel.

Do you have a nice coat of yellow on your car? That's pine pollen, and it actually doesn't affect your health. It's what you can't see that's making you sneeze. And it's that pollen that will keep people indoors. While shots may help some, there are other things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms. " I vacuum and dust more often," said Wendy.

Dr. Finkel had some more advice." Keep your doors and windows closed. Run the air conditioning so the systems can remove the pollen from the air," he said.

Some other tips that may help: put towels along window sills and the bottoms of doors to keep the pollen and dust out. Also, if you go outside, immediately take a shower. Wash your hair and change clothing when you come back indoors, so you don't get any of the pollen on your furniture.

You should also avoid being outdoors during the peak pollen times of the day. That's usually early morning and dusk. You can still enjoy the outdoors, but if your symptoms get worse you may need to see your doctor.

Reported By: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com  

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