West Michigan worst place for allergies

Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 17:08:25-04

WEST MICHIGAN-- If you suffer from allergies and feel extra miserable this year, it could be for a very good reason. The experts say we're in the middle of one of the worst allergy seasons in decades.

Allergies have hit a 20-year high and here in West Michigan our geography doesn't help that at all.

FOX 17 spoke with two West Michigan allergy experts; one a traditional doctor, the other a holistic health care provider. Both agreed that perhaps homes and people are too clean.

Yes...too clean!

People are not exposed to the same amount of allergens as past generations, so people are not building up immunity to common allergens the way they used to. There's also more awareness out there, so more people are seeking treatment.

Our location in West Michigan doesn't help us either says Dr. Rich Strabbing, an Otolaryngologist at Michigan ENT & Allergy.   “We get a lot of moisture, so we’re going to generate a lot of growth in plants, including trees, grass and weeds. Right now we’re seeing a big spike in tree pollen and with West Michigan being nestled against the lake, when we get a dry day where the tree pollen is airborne, it’s being blown everywhere because of lake winds.”

Barb Meconis, RN & Owner of Holistic Care Approach explains that the type of trees grown in Michigan provide for an early start to the allergy season. “It starts earlier then when people think it does. It actually starts the third or fourth week of February. In Michigan, that’s when the sap in the maple trees starts running, so the trees start coming awake about the end of February.”

There is an end in sight to allergy season. Unfortunately, it comes with the next hard frost, something we don't really want to talk about as our thoughts are on spring.