KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It almost feels like spring outside this week. Some places in East Tennessee have been experiencing some warm temperatures.
With the warm weather, we have also noticed more pollen on cars and in the air.
A lot of people were enjoying the weather at Lakeshore Park on Tuesday but for some, this weather means they are having to deal with spring allergies.
“I’m not from [Knoxville] and I feel like my allergies are a lot more prevalent here than they are in south Alabama which is where I’m from,” said Brittany Dilworth, a resident in Knoxville.
Dilworth is taking advantage of the warmer temperatures by walking outside with her friend Alex Quinn, but both of them say, as plants start to bloom, their allergies began to worsen.
Dilworth said she has been dealing with sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat and watery eyes. Quinn explained her symptoms included itchy and watery eyes.
Doctor Sangeetha Kodoth with Allergy Specialists of Knoxville says now is the time to start preventative allergy treatments like over-the-counter medications such as oral antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops.
“Also if you like to do outdoor activities, try to pay attention to the pollen count and if the pollen count is lower. Keep your windows closed. In the spring it’s beautiful but you don’t want to let all that pollen into your home. If you spend time outside, make sure when you come in change your clothes and shower. You don’t want that pollen to hang out in your hair or in your clothes, Kodoth said.
She says it is important to know “what types of plants you may be allergic to” and “plan your day accordingly.”
“Rain does wash away the pollen. So, it does give us some reprieve, but a lot of rainy season helps our plants to grow better, and we have more pollen, more vegetation, so all of that impacts us,” Kodoth added.
She continued, “On the other hand it’s going to increase the mold count and the fungal spores. So if you are somebody who has allergies to those you may see some impact.”
If the over-the-counter medicine does not help with your symptoms, make sure to call your doctor or primary care physician.
While most people have mild allergies, Kodoth says if you are having breathing issues, getting a lot of infections, or miss school or work due to being sick, check in with a professional to see if you need to take more aggressive measures.