Dr. Linda Ford, an allergist in Omaha-Council Bluffs, says the surge in seasonal allergy symptoms lately is most certainly weather-related as the trees were late bloomers this year.
“The first ones came at the end of February and then we had the cold weather, so they stopped pollinating,” Dr. Ford says. “Then we got to April and we got warmer weather and all the trees started pushing out pollen.” Ford says pollen counts have been very high and the first part of allergy treatment is prevention.
“Keep those windows closed at night because the pollen is still out there and with the wind blowing, it’s going to stir up a lot of pollen, pollen that has fallen to the ground that will be stirred back up into the air,” she says. Many allergy-fighting drugs used to require a prescription, but that’s no longer the case.
“There are nasal sprays you can get over-the-counter. There are many different types and they all work about the same,” Ford says. “They work very well along with your non-sedating antihistamine and about 50% of the people need both of those things.” Many of those meds don’t work the same on everyone so it may take some trial and error to find the perfect fix. If not, she suggests seeing an allergist and if symptoms are severe enough, starting a series of allergy shots.