MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Spring is on it’s way and so is allergy season, and with all the snow Minnesota has had this year there could be another factor causing stuffy noses.

The large amount of snow that built p this year can lead to something called, “snow mold.” It’s something that causes stuffy noses, headaches and sore throats for a lot of people.

The question becomes if those symptoms are coming from allergies or a cold.

“Often times people will think that, they’ll think I get a cold every spring. It is actually more their allergies,” Dr. Stephanie Fox of Health East clinics said.

Fox specializes in treating allergies and asthma for Health East clinics.

She said it’s possible to develop allergies even if you’ve never had them before.

“Allergies tend to be more long lasting. Colds resolve in 7 to 10 days,” Fox said.

Symptoms can start in the spring, even with all those piles of snow everywhere.

Warmer days and spring rains start to melt the snow, and also sets up perfect conditions for a mold fungus to grow.

“If the weather is 32 to 45 degrees or so, that’s when we’ll see the mold spores released. So if the snow melts quickly and it warms up quickly then the mold can’t take hold and it can’t be released,” Fox said.

One way to lessen your exposure to snow mold is to get rid of those piles around the yard.

Get out the shovel and spread the snow around so it will melt faster and dry out in the sun.

“The environmental allergies, pollen allergies will then start,” Fox said.

Something we haven’t seen in a while — trees sprouting and flowers blooming and the start of another allergy season for at least 10 percent of the population.

Fox recommends people check with their doctors about treating seasonal allergies with medicine.

If you do take an antihistamine, she’s advising patients to start taking it around April 1 which is Tuesday.


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