Spring is in bloom, so are allergy symptoms - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Spring is in bloom, so are allergy symptoms

March 26, 2003

Albany-- It's the season for itchy, watery eyes--not to mention headaches, sneezing, and coughing. Many of us are suffering from springtime allergies and the fun has only just begun.

Ah, the signs of spring--budding trees, flowers in bloom, and allergies.

"We see a lot of upper respiratory symptoms, itchy, watery, sneezy, drippy eyes, ears, nose, throat, general irritability--just people not feeling well." Dr. Larry Smith's patient load is picking up at his allergy clinic-- and for good reason.

Dr. Smith says, "We had pollen counts in the 5,000 pollens per cubic meter range, and it dropped down to the 1,500 cubic meter range and that's on a daily basis."

You can see pine pollen, touch it, but it's not the green stuff that causes the itchy eyes, headaches and other stuff associated with allergies. It's the other pollens that you can't see that are the problem. Dr. Smith says, "We are also seeing a fair number of grasses, other tree pollens like oak and birch pollen right now."

Unless you stayed cooped up in your house, which is hard to do on a sunny day, these pollens can't be avoided. But even the rainy days don't give much relief to allergy sufferers. Dr. Smith says, "Rain only washes pollens away for a short period of time. It washes it away but when they come back they seem to come back with a vengeance when that happens."

The pollen season is just kicking off, with some of the most potent pollens still to come. In this region, pecan tree pollens begin to appear in April and May, which Dr. Smith says cause most South Georgians to suffer from allergy symptoms. He recommends over the counter medicines, like Claritin or Tylenol Allergy.

Posted at 3:40 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com