Photo: foshydog (flickr)
Dr. Joanna Watkins, an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist for IU Health, says every year, her patients claim that their allergies are worse than ever before. Some of that, she says, can be attributed to the fact that their symptoms seem more severe after having a break from them during the winter.
However, she says that this past winter has had an effect on the amount of pollen in the air. Since it was colder longer, trees are now releasing pollen later and more rapidly than usual.
“Due to the late spring start they have a lot of catching up to do,” Watkins said. “So the pollen gets released in a shorter period of time rather than the gradual release that we are used to seeing.”
Mark Kaplan, a researcher focusing on allergies at IUPUI, suggests limiting exposure to allergens as much as possible and offers ways to eliminate them from the environment.
“If they’re inside allergens, try and vacuum and keep your house clean, and don’t keep your window open, even when it gets nice,” Kaplan says.
Both Kaplan and Dr. Watkins say that if a person is exposed to allergens, they should take a shower and cleanse the nasal cavity with a nasal spray or nasal wash.