COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Allergy season is ramping up, after an unseasonable cold snap slowed plant growth following a rare late April snowfall.
That means itchy nose and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, sometimes a cough, and a little fatigue. This differs substantially from COVID symptoms that usually include a fever and dry cough, body aches, prolonged fatigue.
Dr. Tiffany Owens, an allergist and immunologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explained that allergies can have both indoor and outdoor sources.
“The pollen’s outdoors, but we also have indoor allergens. And then we have a lot of chemical exposures, too. All that can cumulatively add up to cause allergy difficulties,” Owens said.
We may think colorful flowers are the problem, which are pollinated by insects. But the culprit for your allergy woes on dry, windy days is usually a combination of flowering trees, tall grasses and weeds that disperse millions of microscopic pollen grains.
Allergy seasons have lengthened in recent decades in much of Midwest. The reason is milder winters and wetter spring conditions. The net effect is lush vegetation and molds.
Later frosts in autumn extend the allergy season, after a break in midsummer from tree and grass pollen, when weeds pollinate and combine with molds emanating from crops and fallen leaves.
If allergies are getting you down, there are plenty of over-the-counter options. A saline nasal pray is highly recommended by medical experts to flush allergens before they trigger uncomfortable reactions.
Allergy symptoms are focused above the neck, compared to chest congestion and a fever that require an immediate consultation with your doctor.