High pollen causing allergies in the Valley - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

High pollen causing allergies in the Valley

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

Itchy eyes and sniffling noses are torturing many allergy sufferers throughout the Valley now that pollen levels are reaching very high levels.

If you drove today, chances are high you spent a few moments cleaning your windshield before taking off.

"You can write your name on any car in the parking lot right now and that tells you that things are about," said pharmacist Terry Hurley.

Employees at Dinglewood Pharmacy in Columbus are seeing allergy medicines flying off the shelves as pollen levels rise this week.

"People are going more towards the nasal sprays than they have in the past because some of them now are available without a prescription," said Hurley.

Another hot item going fast are tissues. While we may have some idea how to tackle the seasonal sniffles, do we know all the facts? We sat down with allergist Dr. Robert Cartwright today to find out what's fact and what's fiction.

"The thick stuff on your car may not really be the factor that's causing trouble," said Cartwright.

While cars are coated in thick and yellow pine pollen, it's what you can't see that's causing the sniffles.

What about the unconventional treatment some are turning to? Can local honey help battle pollen induced flare ups? Doctors say that's a myth.

"Actually it's a bit of a wives tale. Local honey is certainly not a bad thing, but really hasn't been shown to do anything for allergy sufferers," said Cartwright.

So all allergies can be cleared by a cocktail of clinically proven over the counter prescriptions? That too is a myth. While some over the counter drugs can help some, you may need stronger treatment and the guidance of a doctor.

"If you're really suffering and a basic treatment isn't really working, don't just keep piling on medicines, go and get seen," said Cartwright.

There are a few other things besides medicine you can look to if your allergies are mild. One of the biggest things is using your air recycle button on your car when driving and keeping the windows up. That can prevent allergies from flaring up when you're on your way to and from work.

Even if you can't get an appointment with an allergist right away, doctors say it's important to schedule one when you can. Spring will come again next year, and the year after that, so seeking expert help can help sufferers, especially for those with asthma who can have flare ups of both conditions this time of year.

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