The Perfect Storm Of Spring Allergies

By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

— This spring could be one of the toughest allergy seasons in Minnesota. Since the weather has warmed and the snow has melted, doctors in the Twin Cities are seeing a surge in patients.

“I can definitely tell it’s starting this year,” said Chris Tessman, who has suffered from allergies since she was a kid. She has a son who suffers from allergies, too.

The second the buds started appearing on her trees in Maple Grove, her eyes started to itch and her nose started running.

“I’m really hoping, knock on wood, with the allergy shots and Zyrtec, that I can stay on top of it this year,” said Tessman.

Experts say that the long, difficult winter in Minnesota this season also has something to do with Tessman’s allergies and everyone else’s too.

A hard winter means an intensified allergy season. Trees and plants got more nutrients than normal from the snow melt, so now the pollen count is higher than normal.

“If people have no symptoms, then people go from no symptoms in an accelerated phase to having pollen exposure, and obviously they feel worse,” said Dr. Pramod Kelkar, an allergist with the Allergy and Asthma Care in the Twin Cities.

He suggests taking a shower to wash off the pollen when you come inside, and also says closing windows keeps pollen out of the home. For those who dry laundry outside, pollen can also cling to it, so he suggests drying clothes differently.

Kelkar said the spring allergy season started in the middle of March, and it won’t end till the first of November, once the first hard frost happens. He suggests taking over-the-counter medicines.

“If the medications are not helping you, you need to see a healthcare provider,” Kelkar said.

Spring is a time for beauty and new beginnings, but this year, it’s about the same old thing for Tessman and her son.

“I will end up feeling miserable,” said Tessman, who, along with her son, might be in for one of the toughest allergy fights ever.

  • more cowbell

    My fallen arches are killing me this spring. Hey, that would be another intensely interesting story for the readers, huh? How many people stubbed their toe this week? How about getting some man on the street interviews for that expose’? “yeah, I was walking to the bathroom last night and i nailed my toe on the bed-frame and it really hurt somethin’ terrible. I swear I thought I broke it”. We’re gonna go to a commercial and then we’ll be back with more on allergy season so stay tuned.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    You liberals are so sheltered that you have allergec reactions upon exposure to the outdoors, what do allergies feel like dork?

  • Brewster

    Claritin Liqui-Gels work pretty good, I’ve had chronic allergies for a Millenia!

  • Sky

    Our family has allergies and I can tell you that EVERY spring is bad. How about doing a story on things you can do to help them rather than the obvious of OTC’s and not drying laundry outside…

    • Been there

      I’ve taken allergy shots for over 20 years. They help most people and make the OTC drugs work better. That said, part of the problem with pollen allergies is that municipalities plant MALE plants because they are less messy than female plants that produce seeds. This is especially true for trees. The male plants produce the pollen and a lot of it if most of the plantings are male. So, an overabundance of pollen is part of the problem. Avoidance is still the best prescription. Especially, of no-nothings like Rusty and more cowbell. Allergies are as debilitating for some as diabetes and just as chronic.

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