Doctor says bad weekend ahead for allergy sufferers

Posted at 9:48 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 22:14:34-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Doctors say this weekend is going to be especially bad for people who have allergies, and that you may want to stay inside altogether.

“Those who have allergies and asthma will anticipate seeing a big increase in their symptoms with the return of warm weather," said Dr. Sara Uekert with Grand Rapids Allergy.

Allergists like Dr. Uekert say the combination of warm weather, humidity and trees blooming will be the perfect storm as far as allergies go and that this weekend will be especially bad.

"This weekend we anticipate with all the rain and now the sunshine and the warmer weather that all the trees and the grasses are going to be super excited and just pollen explosion," Uekert said.

Seasonal allergies affect people of all ages, but Dr. Uekert says it could be even worse for people with asthma.

“Humidity itself is also tough for an asthmatic, so they can get asthma symptoms not only from the pollen but from the weather itself," she says.

Dr. Uekert says seasonal allergies can be caused by multiple things like pollen and mold. Both will be an issue with people eager to get outside for what's expected to be a nice weekend.

“Mowing the lawn, it’s going to be causing that grass pollen because we’re pollinating, but it also kicks up a ton of dust and mold and that’s going to impact people as well," she says. "If you know what your triggers are and they’re tough to avoid, you can’t avoid the outside, you don’t want to avoid the outside and you really don’t want kids to have to stay indoors and miss their soccer games and things like that, it would be talking with primary care and seeing should we have our allergies better controlled?"

There are plenty of options for allergy treatment.

"There’s a lot of over the counter remedies that people can use for allergy, one of the main things we like to use is what’s called saline irrigation… but a nasal steroid would be one that would be effective in allergy and then there's oral antihistamines," Dr. Uekert says.

Another option is immunotherapy.

"Immunotherapy is using your own immune system to treat your allergies. It's the most natural way to treat your allergies, and it actually can result in resolution," Dr. Uekert says. "You don't have to live with your allergies, you can get them fixed and it could be a long-term fix which is exciting."

Dr. Uekert says if you have bad allergies or asthma, it's likely best to try and stay inside in the air conditioning this weekend.  If you need to be outside, wear goggles or a face mask to keep stuff out of your eyes and nose.