Pollen vortex causes severe allergy season

(WZZM) -- We've suffered through the polar vortex now it might be time to suffer through the pollen vortex.

This may be the worst spring allergy season we've seen in a long time and allergists like Dr. Sarah Uekert with Grand Rapids Allergy are prepared. "For those individuals who are sensitive to both pollen and mold, grass and tree, they're going to have a tough spring."

That's because our late spring is causing everything to bloom at one time. Dr. Uekert says that means some could develop new allergies on top of what they already deal with. "There is a question that if your immune system is revved up because of one pollen and then another pollen comes at you in high concentration, that might be how you develop new allergies."

But this year there is some added help; the FDA just approved three new under-the-tongue dissolvable tablets to add to your allergy defense arsenal. Ragwitek for ragweed, Grastek for grass, and Oralair for pollens.

"For some individuals, their schedule doesn't allow for them to come into the office for injections. These tablets are going to treat grass, pollen, and weed pollen only." says Uekert.

But there are some disadvantages: you need to start the pills 12 weeks before the allergy season, which means it's already too late for grass allergy season, and Uekert says there's another downside. "We still only see a 30% reduction in symptoms."

So while you may not have to schedule weekly allergy shots, you will still need to supplement the new dissolvable pills with other medications to get total relief.

Here are some ways to help cut down on the amount of pollen you're breathing in:

  • Change your clothes when you come in from outside and put them right in the laundry.
  • Wash your hair before bed so your not breathing in what's stuck to it during the day.
  • Use a nasal flush after going outside; this gets rid of all the pollen stuck in your nose.
  • wipe down your pet when then come in from the outside.

Pollen is a sticky substance and just like it sticks to your hair, it sticks to your pet's hair. You can find pet wipes at the pet store or you can use non-allergenic baby wipes.


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