Wetter winter brings more sneezing, suffering

Published On: Mar 28 2014 02:29:30 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 30 2014 06:00:00 AM EDT

Sneezing and sniffling?  Allergies symptoms getting worse or flaring up sooner this year?  You may be able to blame the wet winter we had.  In the Jacksonville area, Channel 4 Meteorologist Blake Mathews says we had nearly four more inches of rain from January 1 to March 26, than we did last year.  That's not counting the rain we've had over the past couple of days. That wet weather has set the stage for a potentially bad allergy season. 

"We're a little worried that maybe it might be a bad allergy season, only because we had a lot of precipitation over the winter. And when you have a lot of precipitation, obviously, you have more water in the soil and plants can grow better. So, you get more plants, equals more pollen," explained Dr. Rachel Szekely who treats allergy patients at Cleveland Clinic.

Szekely says she's seeing patients already feeling the effects. They're coming in complaining of itchy watery eyes, runny noses, and of course, sneezing. She says your best defense is to start taking your allergy medication now. It's important to get out in front of your symptoms because once they get really bad, they become difficult to control.

Pollen forecast | Worst cities for allergies

You should also keep in mind that pollen is worst at dusk and dawn. Szekely says rain, like we've been seeing, will help wash some of the pollen away, but it will also bring about another concern.

"The people with pollen allergies usually get better when it rains or the ground is damp. However, people who have mold allergy have a problem with that because the mold spores are in the air," she said.

Szekely adds that keeping your windows closed and running the air conditioning, even on days that aren't so hot, can help keep allergens at bay.

And as Channel 4's George Winterling often advises, you can also try rinsing off your shoes and taking a quick shower after being outside to keep pollen from lingering inside the home.


The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus