Doctors say we're in the worst allergy season in years - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Doctors say we're in the worst allergy season in years

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

This spring is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent memory when it comes to pollen.   

Local allergists said that they're seeing record numbers of patients looking for relief.  

You can just see the pollen hanging in the air everywhere.  

If you have spring allergies and it seems worse then usual, local doctors said that you're right.

This spring allergy season is bad, but how bad is it?

"Horrible, absolutely horrible.  It's probably the worst season I've seen in 15 years," said Dr. Jonathan Bayuk with Allergy and Immunology Associates of New England.

At the practice's Greenfield office, Bayuk told Western Mass News that they are seeing record numbers of patients.

"The phone's ringing off the hook here.  People are coming in, really miserable.  It's been pretty dramatic," Bayuk noted.

Bayuk noted that pollen from hardwood trees - birch and oak - are wrapping up.  

Pine pollen, that lovely green film that covers everything, is still going.  

Grass pollen ramped up a few days ago and throw that in with that white stuff, "All that white stuff that's blowing around, it's either going to be cottonwood or poplar and it's just flying around, picking up other pollen and making little pollen bombs and hitting everybody," Bayuk explained.

So why is this season so much worse?

"I'm pretty sure its a combination of all the water we've had in the last year.  We were in that drought last summer.  Temperatures have been favorable, we've had some cool nights.  The trees are just going crazy," Bayuk said.

Bayuk said that people should hit those allergies from every angle - oral and nasal antihistamines.

"Yah, no problem taking them both.  There's quite a few over the counter that you can try," Bayuk said.

Bayuk suggested antihistamine eye drops as well and if all that isn't working, he said that it may be time for immunotherapy or allergy shots.  He says in time, shots can significantly reduce symptoms or even help allergies disappear completely.

Many antihistamines that were once prescription are now available over the counter,   

If you are taking antihistamines, Bayuk said to check and make sure they are non-drowsy. 

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