'Tis the Season for Allergies

March 31, 2006 -- 7:20 PM


JONESBORO, AR -- Spring is here, and for some people, that means allergy season---watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.  

Dr. Scott Snodgrass, Allergy Specialist, said his office will be swamped now that warmer weather has approached.

“The instances of allergies is increasing,” said Snodgrass.   “I think that the recognition of allergic diseases is more prominent now.”   

Snodgrad performs a scratch test on all of his patients to see exactly what they’re allergic to.    He places a poitive and negative mark on the forearm.    Then he scrates the skin with different pollens.   If the skin becomes irritateed and a mosquito-bite-like image forms, that means there is a positive reaction.

The next step would be to get medication.    Pharmacist Andrea Rubottom said there are several allergy medications to puchase over the counter.

“I recommend the Claritin because it's one that was...not to long ago, prescription and it is non-drowsey,” said Rubottom.   

There are countless ways to control allergy symptoms:  keep windows closed at night and use the air conditioning; minimize morning activity because pollen is at it's highest between 5-10 a.m.; stay indoors when the pollen count or humidity is high; keep your car windows closed when driving; don't mow the lawn or rake leaves; and take medications consistently as prescribed by your doctor.  

“For those people who have tried to reduce their exposure… and which medications are not controlling their symptoms well enough…then we move into allergy injections,” said Snodgrass.   

According to the American A cademy of Allergy and Immunology, weather conditions can affect spring allergies.  Rain washes pollen out of the air, offering a temporary relief from allergy symptoms.   Cloudy or windless days are better for allergy sufferes than sunny, dry or windy days.