TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's that time of year: Itchy eyes, a runny nose and probably a trip to your doctor. It's allergy season and a bad one at that.
Doctors say this season is expected to last through the beginning of summer and will be worse than in previous years.
"The key is non-exposure," said Dr. Anthony Atkins of Mercy Health Oregon walk-in family medicine. "But living in Ohio, but good luck with that."
Doctors say allergies are on the rise and this year is worse than others. Why?
They say it's because of the mild winter we had.
"We never had a true cold season, a true freezing season," explained Dr. Atkins. "So, the pollen is still up, all of those things are present right now so it's going to be particularly bad."
Doctors say avoid your allergen, but people say with weather like this that's not easy.
Whether they are out walking their dog or fishing at a local park, some say their allergies can make them miserable.
"I get really, really itchy eyes, sneezing a lot, a runny nose," explained Amanda Bland, an Oregon resident with seasonal allergies. "For me it's pretty much bad when it gets to springtime."
"The headaches, the sinus pressure, it's miserable," said Amanda Winkler, an East Toledo resident with seasonal allergies. "You just want to do nothing so it does affect your daily life, it really does."
In fact, forecasts show the pollen is expected to be extremely high this week. So, until things calm down outside, what can you do?
Besides avoiding exposure doctors suggest over the counter medicine. If that does not help, they say you should see your family doctor or an allergy specialist. Additionally, doctors say there are a few things you can do to reduce your exposure at home:
- Close your windows and use filters if needed
- Take a shower before going to bed to avoid tracking pollen into your bed
- Wear sunglasses and a hat outside to shield the pollen
- Limit contact with pets outside often or bathe them
- Change clothes worn outside when you return indoors
- Use a clothes dryer and not an outdoor line
- Take allergy medicine before pollen levels spike