Weekend rain, dry weather leading to tough days for allergy sufferers

If your allergies are beginning to flare up, you’re not alone. Spring and fall are the prime seasons for pollen allergies.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 12:45 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 4:49 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - If your allergies are beginning to flare up, you’re not alone. Spring and fall are the prime seasons for pollen allergies.

“We’re in a bowl of allergies and asthma,” said Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of New England.

Bayuk told Western Mass News that spring is always a busy time of year in his office. He said, right now, the irritant is mostly tree pollen and due to the topography of western Massachusetts, that can be a huge problem for allergy sufferers.

“In the valley, the tree pollen that gets created, blows around, and stays within the valley itself…doesn’t really clear, not like you’re on a flat surface,” Bayuk added.

Bayuk told us our area is well known for being one of the worst places for allergies in the country and although he’s seeing much of the same so far, allergies are only getting worse.

“Temperatures are getting higher, winter was more mild…There are times when the trees struggle because of those changes, but for the most part, this year is a good setup for the trees to do very well,” Bayuk explained.

He told us about 30 to 40 percent of people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies and the weather were seeing this week isn’t helping. Bayuk explained that having a big rainstorm Saturday, followed by expected dry temperatures the rest of the week, makes for the perfect recipe for spring allergies.

“When it rains, the trees get the water, so they can use that to propel the sap, which then propels more pollen, so they need to be…they don’t want to be too dry, but then when the weather turns dry after a rainy period, then the pollen will start flying and when it’s dry air, it can really blow around,” Bayuk said.

Bayuk added that in the next few weeks, grass pollen will be added to the mix.

“It’s going to be pretty rough,” Bayuk noted.

For those whose allergies are flaring up, Bayuk has this advice:

  • Use air conditioning with a filter when it gets warm outside
  • Do not put fans in the window since they can blow pollen into your house
  • Wear a mask when gardening or cutting the lawn outside
  • When you come in from outside, shower and change clothes

He also suggested taking over-the-counter allergy medication and if all else fails, make an appointment with an allergist.