ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Have you been sniffling, sneezing and itching a lot more lately? Pollen counts are especially high right now especially with how warm and dry it’s been over the past month.
Look up in the sky this past week and you may have seen a flurry of fuzz, almost like it’s snowing. What you’re seeing are actually the seeds from poplar trees including cottonwood suspected to be triggering allergy symptoms for many, but that may not be the primary culprit.
Dr. Emily Weis, Clinical Director of Allergy at URMC says, “Concurrently at the same time we’re also having pollen that we can’t see with the naked eye so that’s what people are having symptoms to, so you’re seeing something in the air that’s floating around but you’re having symptoms that are actually from something you can’t see.”
The fact that we’re seeing these seeds fleeing from the trees is a good sign, meaning the worst of the tree pollen is over, however now we’re seeing a second type of pollen with little relief in sight from a prolonged warm weather and lack of rainfall.
“We’re kind of in a perfect storm for lack of a better term of the convergence of tree pollen season and then the grass season. A lot of the pollen season is dependent on weather… so if you have sensitivity to both of those you are doubly bothered at this point,” says Weis.
Dr. Weis says she has noticed an uptick in symptomatic patients, but the Rochester area is known for its well-established history in high pollen counts this time of year. If you’re especially struggling this season or a first-time allergy sufferer, there are some things you can do.
One of the first steps you can take is to touch base with your primary care physician. If you have a fever or systemic body aches those kinds of things are more likely to not be secondary to the pollen. If this is something that is really bothering you, you are referred to a board-certified allergist for further evaluation,” says Weis.
There are also plenty of over-the-counter medications you can take for relief in the meantime that can help mitigate symptoms.
Other ways to avoid or reduce allergies include staying away from outdoor activities such as mowing the lawn and weeding, as well as sleeping with the windows closed and showering at night to rid yourself of any lingering pollen from the day.