Protecting yourself during pollen season

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 5:44 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Pollen is often seen on vehicles as a yellowish powder and it moves from plant to plant by wind and animals. It’s purpose is to fertilize plants but this can be bad news for those who live with seasonal allergies. Specialists say different pollen appears at different times in the year.

“Trees are pollinating now. They’ll go until about the time grass starts greening up. So grass is a May, June allergy. Tree is a March, April, May. Same thing happens in the fall right around labor day. Guess what happens, weeds and now grass again,” said Dr. Randy Forehand, an allergist with Clinch Valley Health.

Dr. Forehand says symptoms from pollen allergies include sneezing, runny nose and swelling.

“Our respiratory tract is lined with inflammatory cells, immune cells. If they recognize it as an allergy, you react. Not everybody does that,” said Dr. Forehand.

Dr. Forehand says it’s important to identify the type of pollen affecting you so you can better prepare to defend yourself against it. He says knowledge is power, so people should monitor pollen counts, take their allergy pills, use nasal sprays, and he recommends getting allergy shots.

“It may not cure you or may not control you. But if you get any relief at all it’ll make a difference. Because people with uncontrolled allergies can’t sleep at night and they can’t concentrate when they go to work during the day. So they really need to do something,” said Dr. Forehand.

Dr. Forehand says if people aren’t sure which medication they need for their allergies, they should talk with a doctor about it.