ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Emergency Medical Service officials say pollen is having a serious impact on many people in Georgia.
Last Tuesday night, Dougherty County EMS and firefighters were called to help a 17 year old with asthma, who went into cardiac arrest.
They have been answering even more calls from people suffering respiratory issues.
Dougherty County EMS officials say their ambulances have made many more calls in recent weeks for respiratory issues.
"The pollen seems to be stronger, earlier this year than normal," said Dougherty County EMS Director Greg Rowe. "We've had quite a few calls to the elderly, people who have respiratory issues especially. We've had quite a few extra calls to asthmatic patients."
That heavy pollen has many South Georgians heading to drug stores, where they are seeing increased sales of allergy medications.
"With the pollen out a lot of people are coming, asking us about allergies and what to take," said U Save It Pharmacist Jennifer Huggins.
But EMS officials say too many South Georgians are misusing those medications, or combining them with other medications which can have dangerous effects.
"Especially with asthmatics, they really need to be aware of what they are taking outside their normal medications," said Rowe. "They really need to contact their physicians."
Pharmacists also urge people not to over medicate. When you take a medication that does not seem to help, don't double the dosage or take a different medicine.
Huggins said that is never a good idea.
EMS officials say they are taking too many South Georgians to the hospital with something more serious than just sniffles and sneezing.
They also say too much sinus or allergy medicine can send a person's heart racing in a fast rhythm, and cause serious emergency problems.