Allergy season starting to ramp up - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Allergy season starting to ramp up

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

There are finally some more seasonable temperatures are headed our way this weekend.  

However, with that sunshine also comes what is expected to be some of the highest pollen counts of the season so far. 

If you suffer from spring allergies, get ready for a blast of pollen this weekend.  

One local allergist we talked to said that there are some new remedies that might help with all that sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion.

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk of Allergy and Immunology Associates of New England said that western Massachusetts is going to get hit particularly hard this allergy season and he's seeing it already.  

"I'm definitely seeing it.  We live in the valley, so that everything that grows here and pollinates is going to go up must come down and we have prevailing winds that come from the west that blow their pollen into our valley," Bayuk said.

Bayuk told Western Mass News that it's not too late to start those seasonal medications.

"It would be enough time to get a nasal steroid spray, which a lot are over-the-counter or an antihistamine just to make you feel better," Bayuk noted.

However, all are not created equal.  He said that Zyrtec and Allegra are more potent then most, but some allergy sufferers may need something a little less potent like Claritin.  

What you want to stay away from, "Really try to stay away from sedating ones, so like dyphenhydromine makes most people tired and it's also short-acting, so I would stay away from those," Bayuk explained.

There are new FDA approved sublingual pills available now, but Bayuk said that the jury is out on those. 

"We do have some sublingual tablets that people are using, but the downside is that they're not as effective as allergy injections and they can make your mouth itchy and they're also very expensive," Bayuk noted.

If your symptoms are just too much, "allergy shots are something that people turn to which are very effective," Bayuk said.

Allergy shots may not quite be a cure but, Bayuk said they come close. 

According to pollen tracker, starting Friday, the Springfield region is expected to be in the "high" category.  

The biggest offenders so far: maple, poplar, and elm.

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