High pollen count contributing to ‘severe’ allergy cases – NBC Connecticut

You may have washed your car last weekend, but with high tree pollen levels and hard-to-find rain, chances are it will need another rinse soon.

“I feel like I’m going through and it’s covered in pollen a second later,” said Allie Ramos from Cheshire.

That’s great news for the guys at Espinosa Car Wash in West Hartford, who said they washed between 250 and 300 cars on Mother’s Day.

“All year round is good, but this time and winter is the best,” said Arial Arbleiro, director of Espinosa Car Wash.

But when it comes to allergies, the combination of pollen and a period of dry weather creates challenges.

“This year in particular, it seems like people are coming in for allergies and they seem more severe, and they’re coming in earlier in the season,” said Dr. Nate Wood, an internal medicine physician at Yale Medicine.

“My eyes are going to itch. I’m going to start sniffling, end up getting a sinus infection, so I think this year I was like, ‘You know what, let me get ahead, start taking Allegra early and I was good,” said Ana Maria Santos of Terryville.

Ramos said she doesn’t suffer from too many allergies, but has three children and a husband who are all affected at this time of year.

“It’s hard trying to figure out, is it allergies or is it something else? It was also very stressful,” Ramos said.

Wood said that’s a question a lot of people have when they go to the doctor’s office.

“Other viruses cause many of the same symptoms as environmental allergies, namely sore throat, runny nose,” Wood said. “Itchy eyes are usually pretty much solely caused by these environmental allergies.”

Depending on the symptoms, Wood said there are a variety of over-the-counter medications that can relieve itchy eyes or a sore throat.

“For anyone who isn’t sure what they’re going through, or if they have more serious symptoms like these fevers or chills, or if their symptoms aren’t controlled with these over-the-counter medications, I really recommend to go to the doctor,” Wood said.

He said that based on the patients he’s seen, cases of respiratory viruses like RSV or COVID-19 are relatively low, and most can attribute the symptoms to the season.

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