Doctors warn allergy sufferers of 'thunder fever' - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Doctors warn allergy sufferers of 'thunder fever'

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If you suffer from asthma or allergies you may want to think about staying inside for part of this upcoming weekend.

Even though rain is in the forecast, conditions might be right for something called 'thunder fever'.
Normally you think that rain would wet the pollen down, but with the right conditions, doctors said pollen may actually be worse.

Doctors said the phenomenon of 'thunder fever' happens only in the right conditions when there is a high pollen count, humidity, and heavy winds associated with thunderstorms.
"Sunday we're going to start off dry, but humidity is going to be on the rise throughout the day ahead of an approaching cold front. Humidity count goes up, temperatures go up, and it's going to be warm and breezy ahead of that cold front," explained Meteorologist Janna Brown. 
In that 20 to 30 minutes before a storm when winds pick up, studies show pollen grains launch into the air and latch on to the moisture in the air, creating what's known as a 'thunder bomb'.
"The thunder bomb refers to the idea that the pollen actually absorbs water and then explodes in the air creating extra particles which then penetrate down further into the lung and sinuses causing really severe symptoms," said Dr. David Robertson.  
Doctors said once you breathe in the tiny particles of pollen, allergy and asthma symptoms can be severe.

This is not every thunderstorm as it's a known phenomenon but it's relatively rare. 
Right now, Dr. David Robertson of Allergy and Immunology Associates told Western Mass News the pollen from birch trees is high.
And, despite popular belief, opening windows at night is not the best idea.
"There's this idea that pollen levels generally tend to be higher during the daytime, which is true for average pollen levels, but for certain things, again looking at that birch tree pollen, some of them actually release pollen at night," Dr. Robertson explained.
If you're suffering, Dr. Robertson said to keep up with those allergy medications, oral antihistmaines, nasal sprays, and allergy eye drops.
He added that if your current treatment isn't doing the trick, it's always best to check with your allergist to see what combination of treatment or medications will work best for you.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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