Spring allergy season has proven to be one of the highest in recent years. It is unfortunate that many individuals are suffering, and even if you are not allergic the sheer quantity of pollen is annoying. “It is rough out there,” is what I hear every day.
The typical antihistamines, such as loratadine, fexofenadine and cetirizine are not helping this year. We are seeing every tree pollinate at high levels. When you add the high winds, almost everyone is feeling bad. Even if you are not allergic the pollen acts as a dust, irritating the nose, eyes and respiratory tract. There is nasal congestion, sore throats and coughing due to the irritation caused by the pollen.
We are seeing younger children suffering with conjunctivitis, if they have allergies it is allergic conjunctivitis, if they are not allergic it is due to the irritation of the pollen. These children are being diagnosed with pinkeye and cannot attend preschool or daycare, and as many of you know the pink eye treatments are not working. We are also seeing many patients with difficulty sleeping at night due to allergies creating nasal obstruction with snoring and sneezing throughout the night.
The trees will continue to pollinate until sometime in June but added to this problem is the grass pollen which has just started to fly into the air in the Kansas City area. So the amount of Pollen that you have been seeing on your car is half of what we are expecting over the next three months.
Adding to the pollen problem the Mid-America Regional Council has sent out an alert of the potential for Ozone at high levels in the greater Kansas City area Ozone is a gas created by pollution and heat at the ground level causing difficulty breathing, increasing hospitalizations and emergency room visits for patients with any respiratory disease, such as asthma and COPD.
The spring is setting up to be one of the most toxic for many individuals the high level of pollen, thunderstorm asthma, and elevated ozone levels this early in the season.