Allergies Expected to be Worse This Year than Last Year

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COLUMBIA - Allergy season is in full swing. Experts say with more rain this spring, expect a more intense allergy season.  According to Marcy Markes, a nurse practitioner for allergy and asthma at Columbia Allergy and Asthma Specialists, summer is the time of year that trees and grasses start to impact people who are allergic to them. Allergies come from not just what is blooming locally, but also from the south. 

Markes said, "So when it was high pollen in Texas and Florida, we're getting that pollen. So we actually had very high tree pollen outside and a significant amount of snow on the ground. It varies, there has to be enough moisture for the plants to bloom and to grow."

Markes expects allergies to be worse this year than last year.

"Last year we were very dry, we still had some allergies but it wasn't as bad as this year. This year is going to be pretty bad, we had so much moisture," Markes said.

Preventing and treating allergies is important too. Limiting exposure to things you are allergic to is one of the biggest ways. 

"Keeping the windows down at home, so air conditioning or heat, not leaving the windows open so the pollens can be brought in, in the car leaving the windows up and recirculating the air is good," Markes said.

Pets can also bring in allergies. Markes recommends pets to be well bathed, out of the bedroom, and out of the house. Those can help prevent really bad allergies. 

Medication can be used to treat allergies. 

"A lot of them are available over the counter now. The generics, the Zyrtecs, the Allegras, the Claritins are all available over the counter," Markes said.

Markes also added that we are currently about two or three weeks behind as far as blooming because of the late season due to the snow.

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