SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Officials say seasonal allergies are sticking with us – even as we transition into a new, summer season.
Because Missouri weather is so unpredictable, allergy season has been getting worse – and longer. A walk in the park used to be unbearable for Melissa Jackson.
“I was extremely depressed, not to be able to go out and enjoy the weather,” Jackson said.
Jackson is one of 50 million Americans who suffers with itchy watery eyes, sneezing and coughing of seasonal allergies. She reacts to pollen, dust mites and mold.
“I was so sick. I had to carry a box of tissues every where I went,” Jackson said.
Dr. Purvi Parikh of the Allergy and Asthma Network says allergies have been getting worse in recent years.
“This year especially the weather has been so unpredictable, so the season has been longer,” she said. “The pollen has been more potent because of the ups and downs in the temperature.”
But experts say pretty flowers don’t have to keep you suffering. Over the counter medications and other treatments can provide some relief.
“Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Xyzal – all of those are 24 hours, so they can provide relief throughout the day,” Parikh said. “And then the allergy nose sprays work even better than the pills, and they go right to where the problem is, so things such as Flonase or Nasacort.”
Allergy shots might also be an option. Jackson has been getting them for two years to develop a tolerance to her allergens.
“I can now enjoy the weather and still live my life,” she said.
Doctors also suggest changing clothes, taking a shower before bed and keeping windows and doors closed in the morning to help keep pollen out of the house.