March 22, 2012

Spring Allergies

A mild winter is leading to a rough allergy season.

Shelby: A few days ago, we said goodbye to the fourth warmest winter since records have been kept, and now we have an early spring – which for many of us, means an early hello to allergies. And this year, the symptoms can be extra intense.

So, do you get bad allergies?

“Yes. My symptoms are sneezing, burning eyes, watery eyes and itchy throat.”

“My eyes get watery, my nose starts running and I sneeze a lot.”

Shelby: What is the most annoying part about allergies?


“It’s actually been a terrible three or four weeks. I’m seeing all sorts of children from very young to teenagers and everybody in between, primarily with nasal and eye symptoms.”

Shelby: Two-year-old Eddie Moore is one of them. His mom took him to get allergy tests at a New Orleans hospital because she noticed he was showing symptoms of allergies. And thanks to tree pollen, little Eddie is not alone. That is because in many parts of the country, it barely hit freezing this past winter, and spring-like temperatures moved in weeks before schedule. That means oak, elm and pecan trees have sent their pollen out early.

What does it feel like? How does it affect your life?

“Well, I just want to go somewhere and hide because I can’t, like,… It’s just frustrating.”

“It’s just, you don’t want to sneeze around people, so you try to hold it in. Yeah, you don’t want to do that.”

Shelby: And then when you do?

“Everybody looks at you.”

“I’d be like, ‘yo, can you get some napkins or something?’”

Shelby: And get this: even if you don’t suffer from allergies, you may still have a problem. That is because in some places, pollen counts are so high that even just the particles in the air are enough to cause irritation.

The pollen count is the measurement of pollen in the air, and it is breaking records in some parts of the U.S. In Chicago, the pollen count hit 1,600 this week. Fifteen hundred is considered extreme. And in Atlanta, the pollen count hit over 9,000.

But no matter where you live, experts say there are a few things that can help:

Try to shower and wash your hair after being outside to get rid of pollen.

Keep your windows closed.

Consider getting an air purifier.

Stay indoors as much as possible.

And maybe try antihistamines or see your doctor if your symptoms are really bad.

“Take medicine, and I have an air purifier at home, and that helps a lot.”

“Sleeping and taking a lot of showers. I feel like pollen just gets stuck to you.”

Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.


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