Cabot Rea: If you have allergies, the worst season could be on our doorstep.
Colleen Marshall: Central Ohio is a hotspot for seasonal allergies. In For Your Health tonight, Ellie Merritt is going to tell us what to expect. Ellie, I hear it’s going to be a bad one.
Ellie: Yes, allergy season comes on fast and furious and while it is chilly outside today, doctors are expecting seasonal allergies to be earlier this year. And you’re right, Colleen, much more intense. Blame the weather. Get ready for the sneezing.
Ekta Chabria: I was panicking, because when you get hives, especially when you get them on your face and things like that, it scares you.
Ellie (VO): Allergies…
Dr. Shah: Hi, how are you?
Ellie: Sent Ekta Chabria straight to the doctor.
Dr. Shah: Alright, how are your allergies going this spring?
Ellie: Bad allergies that she never had until her late twenties.
Ekta: My throat would be itchy, my eyes would be itchy, my nose would be running. I was just a mess every morning… I’m allergic to grass, pollen, ragweed, certain kind of trees, dustmite, cat and dog.
Ellie: A long list. And doctors say those seasonal allergies are coming on strong this spring. And you can blame the weather and our temperature roller coaster.
Dr. Shah: When you have real warm days, then cold days, then warm days, it kind of tricks or almost cues the plants that ok, the season’s starting again, and they can almost feel that the season’s starting over and over again, and then you get real intense bursts of pollen that are released. That can be really bad for the allergy sufferers.
Ellie: And not just intense—Dr. Shah thinks they will be early this year, too.
Dr. Shah: If your symptoms are only there for a couple days, or if you’re having mild symptoms, then those over-the-counter medicines, like antihistamine medicines, will work fine.
Ellie: But if you are one of those suffering every season…
Dr. Shah: are your symptoms worse in the morning when you wake up?
Ellie: Talk to your doctor about long-term medicine or allergy shots.
Ekta: Well, I’m glad I started immunotherapy when I did.
Ellie: And even if you have never had allergies before, they can come on at any age—so there’s your warning—especially if you move across country. Treatment usually starts with avoidance, stay inside on the peak days, then go for the over-the-counter allergy meds, and if that doesn’t work, it’s about the time to head to the doctor for a prescription. If it’s something you are seeing, Cabot and Colleen, every season, every year, that’s about the time to talk to a doc about it.