Allergy Battle: Seasonal Allergies Come on All at Once After Cold Winter

by Jill Kasparie, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Allergy sufferers beware.

The spring allergy season is predicted to be bad, and it's because of the long, cold winter we experienced.

Pollen levels are already high in Eastern Iowa.

Allergy experts said because of the heavy snowfall and record cold, trees and other plants are flowering late.

It's really the perfect allergy storm for some. The quick switch of seasons brought on all the blooming and all the allergies at once. Usually the slower change of seasons spreads out the allergens.

"The trees are now pollinating and probably the grass soon, so we could have the combination of grass and trees at the same time, which could make it certainly a busy season," said Allergist Dr. Lyla Schweiger.

The number of people visiting Dr. Schweiger's office is blooming right along with the trees. They're sneezing and struggling with itchy eyes.

"I'm sure for some people it is worse. Maybe they haven't had symptoms previously, but this certainly can make symptoms increase," Dr. Schweiger said.

Sniffing is something five-year-old Austin Thurston knows all about.

"I have tissues," Austin Thurston said.

He has struggled with allergies since he was nine months old. His dad said his seasonal allergies are particularly bad this year.

"All at once, yeah, definitely noticed it with him. He's by far the worst with it, out of our family at least," Austin's Dad Josh Thurston said.

"It feels like when I'm sick," Austin Thurston said.

Dr. Schweiger said there are some actions allergy sufferers can take to feel relief.

"You can take over the counter antihistamines ... We also have patients on injections, and probably the newest therapy this year are sublingual tablets, for grass as well as ragweed pollen," said Dr. Schweiger.

Despite the tough start to the allergy season, Austin isn't letting it slow him down.

That's good because the symptoms likely aren't going away anytime soon.

"I think they'll get worse before they'll get better," Dr. Schweiger

Doctors said tree pollens, grass pollens and mold are particularly bad right now.
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