By James Schugel, WCCO-TV
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — 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.