Brace yourself for a record high pollen season, because pollen counts are reaching record highs in the Midwest – especially our hometown of Kansas City.
Kansas City is in the midst of one of the highest pollen levels in many years. Have you noticed all of the yellow, brown, green dust everywhere? This is pollen from the trees and grasses. The tree pollen started in early March and we are seeing that the trees keep producing high levels of pollen. Adding to the misery, grass pollen started in mid April, causing a one-two punch when you combine tree and grass pollen. The winds have been extremely strong this spring aiding in spreading the pollen and at making things much worse for allergy sufferers this season.
What can be done if you suffer from allergies? I recommend protective eyewear when outdoors, some type of sunglass or even goggles that can seal the wind and pollen from getting to your eyes. Be sure and wash your face once you come inside, and change your clothes, since pollen will stick to your skin and clothing. Next, take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Loratidine, Fexofenadine, or Ceterizine. You can purchase over-the-counter eye drops and use them before you venture outdoors or once the itching and irritation begin. Steroid Nasal sprays are now available over-the-counter as well, but only work if you use them daily throughout the entire pollen season.
I do not recommend saline rinses or sprays unless you feel it is truly helpful, because many times these treatments just add irritation to an already irritated nose. If all of these medications are wearing you out or are not 100% effective, you should have a skin test performed by an allergist to really get to the bottom of your allergies. At that point you may choose allergy injections, also called immunotherapy.
At Kanarek Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, we provide the highest level of immunotherapy available in Kansas City, in fact anywhere in the United States. Receiving the injections can help you control your allergies, and possibly even eventually cure you of your allergy symptoms; this is much better than requiring all these medicines year after year.
Once the spring pollen season is over you can relax only a little, because mold spores can then rise during a dry summer affecting you if you have mold allergy. Right before school starts up again, one of the biggest triggers for allergy is Ragweed, which typically starts August 15 and runs through October 30.
Need help managing your allergies? Contact us today to learn how we can help.