Seasonal allergies thriving despite cool, wet weather

Pollen spreading from Iowa and Missouri
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 18, 2017

Spring hasn't fully sprung across Southeast Wisconsin, however, people are already in midseason form when it comes to battling seasonal allergies.

"Pretty much constant runny noses and sneezing," said Laura Thompson of Milwaukee.

"So far, it's watering eyes and itchy,"said  Laura Schwalb, also of Milwaukee.

"The worst part is the sneezing," said Shovanni Cross of Milwaukee. "The sneezing and wiping your nose."

April showers bring May flowers, which is a way to battle with the negative side of spring allergies. But, with trees barely budding and flowers few and far between, it seems to be all the bad without the good when it comes to Spring.

And even though it has been wet, it still isn't stopping the pollen from spreading.

"Pollen can travel for several hundred miles," said Dr. Shelly Watters of Aurora Health Care. "Pollen doesn't have to be in your backyard to affect you."

High southerly winds over the past few days have helped spread the pollen from southern states like Iowa and Missouri. Those states are further along in their Spring season so the pollen has made its way to Southeast Wisconsin, even though the season hasn't.

"We always try to avoid things we're allergic to," Watters said. "But after a long winter, no one wants to stay in doors. So after being out during the day, come home, shower, get the pollen out of your hair or off your face before going to bed."

But for those who suffer the worst, it's just going to be a battle.

"Right now, it's the worst," Schwalb said. "But it's going to get better soon. Going to have to power through it."

Relief may not be in sight though. While we're dealing with pollen right now, the next headache is on the way.

"Tree pollen season actually goes right into grass season," Watters said. "The trees are pollinating now and then the grasses will start in mid-May. That will go through mid-July. The pollens will subside for awhile until August. That's when the ragweed pollen will spike. But during that downtime, mold spores will be a problem."

While some people will be able to get through their allergies without medications, others will have to hit the pharmacy for help.

"Medications have gone over the counter now," Watters said. "We have the nasal steroid sprays available now. Those are very effective at preventing or treating allergies. They stabilize cells that are involved in the allergic process. If an individual is still having issues despite over the counter medications, it could be a good time to visit the allergist or consider allergy immunotherapy."

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