Spring allergies sweep Southwest GA

Spring allergies sweep Southwest GA
Trees already blooming in mid-February (Source: WALB)
Trees already blooming in mid-February (Source: WALB)
Dr. Joe Theck, Allergist (Source: WALB)
Dr. Joe Theck, Allergist (Source: WALB)
Theck said he is seeing more patients since the warmer weather began (Source: WALB)
Theck said he is seeing more patients since the warmer weather began (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - You've no doubt noticed that green or yellow dust filling the air, and piling up on homes, cars, and almost everywhere.

It's trees blooming early from the unseasonably warm weather causing the pollen, according to Albany allergist Dr. Joe Theck.

As spring approaches, Theck explained the weather change from cool to warm triggers the tree pollen.

Because we do not have a long cold winter filled with frost or snow like those in the northeast part of the country, he says pollens can develop more easily earlier in the year.

Elm, oak, pine, and pecan trees are just some types of trees that create the annoying dust that can travel for miles.  When tree pollen is inhaled, it can cause watery eyes, throat irritation, and sneezing.

For those suffering with allergies, it's tougher, because Theck said that the warm weather could allow the pollens to stay.

"Rainy days, the pollen from the air is going to come down," explained Theck, "So you are not going to get inhalation as strong as it is right now. When it is airborne, you can breathe the pollens, and that is why it is very, very strong, when it's really dry air."

While rain can help, once it stops Theck said the pollens can start back up immediately, and all this pollen has brought an increase in patients at his clinic, Allergy Immunology Center.

It is imperative to start taking action immediately if you feel you're allergies are building up.  Theck said take an antihistamine daily to prevent symptoms like running nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and itching.

As tree pollen is the main type of outdoor allergy right now, he said you are primarily inhaling through your nose the pollen.

To combat this, you can use nasal inhalants to help fight sneezing, drainage, and congestion.

"How do you know it is an allergy? When you have histamine reaction. When you have more sneezing than drainage. Then it is probably an allergy reaction to the pollen," said Theck.

Theck also recommends eye drops to keep your eyes free from irritation.

If medicine, nasal sprays, and eye drops do not seem to be working, Theck recommends seeing an allergist to help alleviate allergy annoyances.

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