Pollen is in the air — get ready for allergies

Carilion Clinic allergy and immunization specialist offers tips to get through your allergy misery

How you can get ready for allergy season

ROANOKE, Va. – We’re not even halfway into March and the itchy eyes and congestion are already taking over, the dreaded allergy season is here.

Dr. Aneysa Sane of Carilion Clinic said tree pollen is only at a moderate level in the Roanoke area but people who are more sensitive to pollen are already dealing with symptoms.

At first, symptoms could get mixed up with coronavirus symptoms because both may cause congestion but Dr. Sane said it’s unusual for allergies to spark a loss of smell.

To help you feel better she said the over-the-counter antihistamine pills work but don’t do anything for congestion, she recommended nose sprays.

“The reason they’re very good is that they stay where they’re sprayed so the rest of your body is not seeing a medication like when you’re taking a pill and they also help with congestion. The downside is that they do have to be used regularly. They won’t work if you’re like ‘Oh I’m feeling terrible right now’ and you don’t use it for three more days,” said Dr. Sane.

But what do you do when even the nasal sprays aren’t working?

Dr. Sane said if you’re sleeping with your mouth open, exhausted, dragging tissues with you everywhere for days, and having reoccurring sinus infections it is time to call a doctor.

It’s one thing to have allergies in your nose and eyes but Dr. Sane said when you feel it in your chest it could be a bigger problem.

“85% of asthma is caused by allergies so some people will have seasonal asthma where they will feel tight in their chest, dry cough, short of breath or even wheezing and that’s a little more serious and would need other medicine that’s prescription,” Dr. Sane said.

If you want to check the pollen levels where you live, click here for a national allergy map.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.