Lehigh Valley

Allergy sufferers may be in for a bad season

Allergy sufferers may be in for a bad season

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Allergy sufferers may be in for a rough spring season.

Maybe your sneezing and itchy eyes have already started, and experts believe it will only get worse.

"We're expecting a worse spring allergy season, primarily because we had all that snow," said Dr. Amar Sharma, a Bethlehem allergist who also serves as the Section Chief of Allergy and Immunology for St. Luke's University Health Network. "Snow is still there on the ground, that means when it starts melting so there will be even more moisture for the trees, so they will be well primed to produce more pollens."

He said it's not just pollen that could cause problems.

"Because of that moisture, and the increased amount of moisture because of the melting snow, so that means there's more chances of having more molds," Dr. Sharma explained.

He said symptoms will only get worse as the weather gets warmer.

"I don't know if it will be the worst allergy season, but I expect it to be a season where we will see lots of patients," said Dr. Sharma.

There are things you can do to help yourself.

For one, Dr. Sharma recommends taking your allergy medication early on, before your symptoms get bad.

"You start with the medication when you know the season is going to start and for spring allergy suffers, that may be now," he said.

"The one that they should not be doing is over the counter, certain nose sprays, the example would be like Dristan, Afrin, something like that, because if you take them three or four days, then the problem becomes worse," Dr. Sharma added. "You also don't want to be using eye drops like Visine and that becomes counterproductive."

Dr. Sharma also recommends closing your windows and using the air conditioning when it gets warmer.

Another thing to keep in mind,he said, is that pets are one way pollen gets inside.

Also, consider when you head outside.

He said, "The pollen count's usually worse before the sun rises and after the sun's setting, so those are the times when you can limit your outdoor activities."

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Allentown, PA 18102





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