GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It may feel like summer outside with 80-90 degree temperatures. However, it’s still spring so the cottonwood continues to blow around.
“We’re seeing it a little bit more this year just because the weather changed and got a little bit more warmer a little bit earlier,” said Mercy Health Dr. Caleb Walters. “So, it’s been a little bit more of an extended season this year as I’m sure everyone knows.”
Dr. Walters said March to late June is the worst time of year for cottonwood. And, per usual, it’s impacting people’s allergies.
“The most common things I think of are just nasal symptoms. So, a runny stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes,” he said during a Zoom interview last week. “People can have skin reactions to where they break out in rashes on their skin. They can have a cough.”
So, he suggested while at home, people keep with windows closed. And, when they return from the outdoors, they should take a shower immediately.
“It can also get on your pets. Cottonwood, you can kind of see it places. But things like pollen is a little bit harder to see. Washing off your pets when they get in you can do as well,” Dr. Walters said. “If besides those things your symptoms are still uncontrolled, if you still find yourself sneezing, blowing your nose all the time, then a couple of over -the-counter medications work really well.”
He recommended antihistamines like Flonase and Zyrtec.
Ultimately, should anyone have questions or concerns, he or she should reach out to their doctor or service provider, he said.
“Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’ll be seeing this slowly peter out,” Dr. Walters said. “Until then, we start getting into ragweed season a little bit later in the summer.”