West Columbia, SC (WLTX) The pollen count was a 9.8 on Tuesday and many people are suffering from Springtime allergies but its not even Spring yet. So News 19 talked to pollen and allergy experts about what you can do so you won't suffer.
Tuesday was great kite flying weather which is why Dave Larrazolo and and his 7-year-old daughter, Asa Rose, wanted to get out with her new kite. But it's what else is flying in that wind that is causing many people allergy problems. Asa Rose is one of them. She tells us, "I think I had them since I was three or something." And she says, she takes allergy medication every night so she can go outside without coughing. She says, "My coughing is really bad. That's my allergy and I have to take some pills for it. They taste like bubble gum."
Dr. Ty Coleman who is an allergy specialist with Allergy Partners of the Midlands, says the allergy season started early and his office has been packed since. He says, "People are coming in a little more symptomatic. With all the tree pollen that is out right now."
According to pollen.com, top allergens are Elm Juniper and Alder. And the five day pollen forecast calls for Thursday, Friday and Saturday to be above 11 on a 12 point scale. WLTX Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy says, the midlands saw Pollen as early as the end of January. Dr. Coleman says, "Course you can see that with pine and some of the heavier pollens on the ground, but then the buoyant, invisible pollens are in the air. We know those are right there with those as well."
So how do you guard against what you can't see? Dr. Coleman says pollen count is highest at dusk and at dawn. He says, "So if you can avoid outside activity or exercising during those times, that can be helpful."
He says if you've been outside, take off your clothes and wash them before you spread the pollen around your house. Taking a shower is helpful to get the pollen off your skin and out of your hair. He also says give your pets baths more often to keep the house pollen free and don't open the windows during high pollen count days.
But if you do suffer, there are some easy things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. Dr. Coleman says, "We talk to people about saline rinse with saline kits they sell now. You can mix up your own home version of that as long as you're boiling the water or buying distilled."
Oral antihistamines are helpful and allergy shots work best for some people. But what about eating local honey. Dr. Coleman says its a good idea except there is one problem. He says, "Unfortunately the pollen is the wrong pollen because those are insect collected pollens. So the bees aren't collecting oak and maple pollen, they are collecting flowering pollen and while those might look like they are causing your symptoms the ones that are triggering the symptoms are the ones that you can't see that are floating in the air."
For more information on the pollen forecast go to pollen.com.