Local Health Alert: Lots of pollen means lots of issues for allergy sufferers

Local Health Alert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Gorgeous weather throughout the Mid-south has come at a price — lots of pollen! Allergy sufferers are certainly seeing an influx in issues; from itchy eyes to sneezing and runny noses.

“It’s been a rough season already,” explains Dr. Jeff Mullins of Methodist Medical Group.

He says it’s the tree pollen that’s creating most of the problems for his patients. “Sometimes with a low-grade fever, it’s hard sometimes this time of year to tell the difference between a cold and allergies.”

He says coughing can be key in deciphering what’s the root cause. “You typically don’t see the productive cough, coughing up phlegm and stuff like that, with allergies,” says Mullins.

Over-the-counter medications will ease symptoms for many patients. Planning ahead at home is also key. Dr. Mullins says avoid the outdoors, especially during the morning hours when pollen levels are highest and keep air filters inside clean.

“They need to be HEPA filters, so they’ll actually filter out the pollen.”

He says you’ll want to have your car air filters checked, too, to make sure they’re not allowing pollen and dust through the vents.

For those whose allergies are more debilitating, there are options including prescriptions, nasal sprays, and shots.

Check with your medical provider, to have your allergy determined and managed. Also, talk with your pharmacist about whether your over-the-counter options could impact any regular prescription you’re taking.

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