Wichita, Kan. -- If you're sneezing, coughing and have itchy eyes, it's likely because allergy season is upon us.
A long winter, a late spring only meant a delay in pollen releases from trees and flowers. That's why allergy sufferers like Margie Hayes are now visiting with their allergists to get help for their symptoms. Hayes says, And when allergy time hit, it really hit."
Hayes says she normally deals with watery eyes, runny nose. But this allergy season she has a cough that's difficult to shake which she explains to allergist specialist Dr. Van Strickland.
Dr. Strickland says, "We've had a lot of people coming in and their eyes are burning, red, itching. We've had a lot of people sneezing, runny nose and drainage. And we've had a lot of people wheezing and with a cough and their asthma has really increased. We've had to increase their medications because of the increase of pollens. In the winter we didn't have any pollens and now the pollen counts are in the thousands and that's considered high and people are getting sick."
He says the wind of late is only making allergies worse for a lot of folks.
Dr. Strickland says, "Pollens that bother are not the pollens that bees transfer. It's the pollens that the wind transfers. And so if you have a lot of pollen out there on those trees and plants then the wind puts them in the air and they can travel for hundreds of miles."
Dr. Strickland tells patients to close windows at home.
"I tell people that even though they have to spend more money to close their windows, use their air conditioners and their filters."
He also explains why it might be a good idea to shower and put on a change of clothes at the end of the work day. "When you're out all day the pollens and molds are attracted to your hair electrostatically."
He also suggests taking allergy medicine throughout the allergy season saying, "You might take a preventative medicine just to keep you better during the season rather than you trying to chase the symptoms once you get sick."