Good Question: Why does allergy season seem worse this year than before?

Local News

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Here in the south we have four seasons: summer, hurricane, college football, and allergy.

The pollen is out there my friends. It’s everywhere.

In this week’s Good Question, Alex asks: “My allergies are worse this year than ever before, why is that?” Alex, a lot of people are feeling your pain. We went to Charleston Allergy and Asthma to find out why that may be.

“Spring it pretty here, you want to be able to enjoy it,” said Dr. Bruce Hall.

But, because of that yellow powder on cars, benches… really any outdoor surface—that is sometimes easier said than done.

Dr. Ball says that’s life in the Lowcountry.

“I have been here a lot of years; spring comes every year, pollen comes every year and that is more than enough for anyone who is allergic,” he said.

If you have symptoms, priority one is finding out exactly what’s causing it and how to reduce the effect it has on you.

“Our pollen can float; it can float sometimes 20 miles… so you’re not going to get away from the pollen just by closing your window. You’ve got to go outside sometime and if you are allergic it takes very little to bother you,” he said. “The more days you are exposed, the less it will take to give you the same symptoms. So, it becomes impossible for someone who is quite allergic to truly avoid the pollen.”

Our biggest offenders are pollinating trees, grasses and weeds. We just can’t get away from all of that, and if your allergies are amplifying with time, medications may not seem as effective.

“You can get to the point where the medication that you buy over the counter, which is very good medicine, becomes less and less effective—not because it isn’t still working, it just can’t handle that degree of allergic sensitivity.”

One good way to reduce the effects of pollen? Keep as much of it as you can outside.

“If you had to mow the grass, which could give you a lot of trouble if you are grass-allergic or any kind of allergic because it redistributes everything, then you can take a shower and that will usually wash off a lot of things,” he recommended.

Dr. Ball went on the say: “If you know you have allergies, you can keep the windows closed during that time frame so that it doesn’t float in the early morning or late afternoon to make you symptomatic through the night.”

Charleston ranks 30th in the nation as the most challenging city to live with spring allergies.

Do you have a question you would like answered? Head to the Good Question page to ask Brendan Clark.

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