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Experts predict severe allergy season
SCHENECTADYIf you suffer from allergies, get ready for a bad spring season. Experts say these next few weeks could be the worst we've seen for pollen and mold-spore sufferers in the last decade; some are even calling it the "pollen vortex." Local doctor's offices are already packed with patients looking for relief.
Darla Boyle suffers from allergies, "they get pretty bad, my eyes start watering, I get sneezy and start coughing from the post nasal drip in the back," she says. But, Darla loves being outside with her family so she finds a way to cope, "I take over the counter stuff and my doctor gives me a nasal spray," she tells CBS6.
A long, cold winter followed by an abrupt warm-up didn't allow for a gradual blooming season, "the trees are letting lose all at once, so we're seeing a very intense burst of pollen," says Dr. David Shulan of Certified Allergy & Asthma Consultants in Schenectady. In fact, he says, it could be the worst allergy season in more than a decade and unlucky for Capital Region sufferers, our spot on the map doesn't help the matter, "The pollen does have a tendency to settle into the valley so it kind of funnels everything and keeps things more intense and for a longer period of time by being in a valley," Dr. Shulan says.
And it's not just pollen overtaking the area, "higher mold counts, higher pollen counts, higher overlap between the different allergens that one might be allergic to and then typically the Hudson Valley and Capital Region mold-spore is more problematic and can cause more significant symptoms," says Dr. Gavin Setzen of Albany ENT & Allergy. Dr. Setzen suggests keeping the humidity at 45-50% in your home, closing the windows, eliminating standing water and old leaf piles from your lawn and changing your clothes when you spend an extended amount of time outside. Another big problem for sufferers is the car, often it's full of dust and even mold that can exacerbate your condition.
If over-the-counter medications don't work, consult your doctor. There are a few new prescriptions this year that may help alleviate your symptoms.