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Winter 2014 could be to blame for harsh allergy season

If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 20% of Americans suffer from some type of allergy.

Dr. Schultz from Providence Urgent Care said, “With all of the rain that we’ve been having this year it’skind of typical that grasses are growing really well. There’s been a lot of ragweed. We are seeing a lot of allergy-related illnesses right now. We do have the allergy hayfever symptoms that will also lead to things like ear infections and sinus infections and may be an asthma exacerbation. Mid Missouri just as a general rule is kind of a hotspot for allergies.”

According to WebMD, people have symptoms when pollen counts are between 20 and 100. ABC 17 checked the seasonal allergy symptoms across Mid-Missouri.

While Boone County reported mild allergy symptoms, Miller and Maries counties recorded moderate to severe.

Dr. Schultz said, “It’s just I think it’s affecting more people and the duration of the illness is lasting longer. Usually people will know the week or two weeks that the certain trees is going to be in bloom, or the grass will be in bloom or the molds will be out. This year with the wet and kind of more mild summer that were having it seems to be seems to be that that is a lot longer.”

You’ll remember, winter 2014 was a harsh one, with bitterly cold temperatures at times.

The cold temperatures delayed the bloom time of some of the bushes, trees, and shrubs that we see into later in the season this summer. Meaning, everything is blooming at the same time, making the pollen count higher.

ABC 17 caught up with William Bernat, who suffers from seasonal allergies. He was out at the park and came prepared, while he still dealt with symptoms.

“My nose runs so bad I can’t keep my nose dry enough. I’m always dripping on myself. I’m going to have to put a gutter under my nose! I planned for the day. I can’t breathe, I lose my breath,” said Bernat.

Pharmacist Bill Morrissey said, “Everything’s still green out there and depending on what a person is allergic to a lot of times when it starts to get brown and dry out and a lot of times that provides relief for some of our allergy sufferers. So, that’s not happening right now. The names out there that everyone knows is Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, those type of names. They did approve a steroid nasal spray over-the-counter now which is previously only been prescription only. Flonase is one that people know the name of Flonase a lot. That’s a nasal steroid. That is still prescription only but there’s one called Nasacort that is now available over-the-counter.”

If next winter is mild, which is what is forecasted due to the onset of El Nino, this means the bloom time won’t be delayed and the spring 2015 allergy season won’t be nearly as bad.

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