Severe Spring Allergy Season Following Long Winter

By: Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Olivia Fecteau Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Spring allergy season is here, and allergists say this year’s harsh winter is making things even worse.

Dr. Matthew Wilson, an allergist at Tri-State Allergy in Huntington, said the long winter delayed spring growing season, which means all the tree pollen is being released in a shorter time frame and causing more severe symptoms.

The pollen makes it difficult for John McComas to take his usual three- or four-mile walk in Ritter Park.

“It's taking my energy, see, not walking as fast, not walking as long,” McComas said.

Tree pollen has hit full-force, and grass pollen is not far behind. In the fall, Wilson said, ragweed causes even more trouble for people who have allergies. “Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, those type of symptoms,” Wilson said.

Wilson said this year has been worse than usual, but that’s not the case for everyone.

“Normally, I'll have symptoms when spring first begins, and I think just kind of getting used to the weather change, but I haven't had any issues this year,” Whitney Carney, a Marshall student, said.

Carney, who went for a run Thursday in Ritter Park, said she also has asthma, but she finds that sleeping and a healthy diet help her fight any symptoms.

Wilson tells people who have allergies can make things easier by keeping windows closed, staying in air conditioning and showering after coming in from the outdoors. He also said that pollen is at its worst overnight and in the early morning hours until about 10 a.m., so evening hours are usually easier on allergy sufferers.

Wilson also told about a new oral tablet, just approved by the FDA, which can help treat grass and ragweed allergies in place of an allergy shot.

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