LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Allergy season is coinciding with the coronavirus, keeping our doctors and specialists busy.
8 News Now spoke to local allergists on what you can do to alleviate some symptoms.
Tree pollen is currently one of the season’s main culprits. Allergists told us that as temperatures start to rise, certain tree species could bloom earlier than normal.
If you’ve looked outside recently, you’ve probably seen a dusting of yellow mulberry pollen. It’s a highly allergenic tree that’s banned from being planted but still causing problems for people with allergies.
“On windy days, that will definitely spread the pollen around,” said Dr. Matt Morgan of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. “I’ll have patients who say, ‘I don’t have this or that in my yard or in my neighborhood,’ but the answer is, it doesn’t matter because the wind will spread it everywhere.”
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to alleviate some allergy symptoms. Changing out the filters in your home is a good precautionary step.
Right now, many of us are social distancing and staying inside, which is a benefit for people with allergies. If you do want to get some fresh air, allergists recommend checking the time of day first.
“Note that the highest pollen count is in the morning. So if you are going to go outside, do it in the evening,” suggested Dr. Jim Christensen of OptumCare Lung and Allergy Care.
Once you’re back home, be careful not to track that pollen back onto your bedding, furniture or carpet.
“As you come in from outside, change your clothes, take a shower, keep your house safe and sanitary,” said Christensen. “Things that were outside, take them off and put it in the wash, that way you’re not dragging it all in.”
Looking ahead, Christensen says olive trees may be pollinating early due to the warmer temperatures in the forecast.
Grass pollen will start to pick up from mid-April to mid-May.
There are over-the-counter and prescription medications you can take to alleviate symptoms. If your symptoms are more than moderate, allergists recommend getting professional treatment.