A 'bad season' for allergy sufferers

By Kelly McCarthy

June 3, 2013 Updated Jun 3, 2013 at 11:15 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Budding trees and flowers are bringing beauty to the Twin Tiers, but they're also causing itchy, watery eyes to those who suffer from pollen allergies.

Spring is the time of year that brings new life to the region. It's hard to miss the trees in full bloom, especially if you're allergic to pollen.

"The past five weeks have mostly been tree pollens," said allergist Dr. Asha Gupta.. "As you see all the trees have been blooming, beautiful looking trees, but they're not very comforting for allergy sufferers."

Trees release their pollens first giving those with allergies a reason to stay inside. It's common for people suffering to have cold-like symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose.

Rainy days and days with high humidity and cooler temperatures bring some relief to people who struggle with pollen outdoors.

"The humidity's higher, everything stays down," Dr. Gupta said. "It also wets the pollen so it stays down. But when you have a dry day, the air is lighter, there's more breeze, nothing to keep it down, that's the worst kind of day."

As trees come into full bloom, their pollen count will start to lower, but coming up next it's going to be grass pollen that's on the rise.

"Symptoms are exactly the same," Dr. Gupta said. "It's just that some people who have allergies only to grass pollens, may not have suffered earlier and may suffer now."

Gupta says to control the environment as much as possible.

"Unfortunately pollen is out everywhere," Dr. Gupta said. "See, unless you live in a bubble you can't totally prevent exposure to pollen, but there are certain things you can do."

Think twice before opening a window and change your clothes as soon as you return indoors, a few tips that could save you a trip to the doctor, Gupta said.

"They just call and people who have not been here before want to all of a sudden," Dr. Gupta said. "They want to come in tomorrow and that's not always possible at this time of the year."

Pollen allergies can affect people as late as mid-fall.

Doctors say some allergies can develop at any time, so a bad year for pollen could cause more people to have symptoms.