Flowers are blooming, spring allergies rising 

CHESAPEAKE, VA. - Local hospitals and clinics are seeing high volumes of people suffering from allergies this season.

Staff with Patient First said tree pollen is the biggest cause of allergies.

“It’s a tough place because we have a lot of plants blooming here and the burden of it is really high," Dr. Rebecca Franzi-Osborne said." So people who traditionally don’t have allergies can usually grow into having allergies as we all age.”

Anyone with severe ragweed and grass allergies will likely start feeling symptoms in a few months.

Dr. Franzi-Osborne said they are seeing a lot of people come into their office to get treated.

Many are are new to the area or over 30-years-old.

This includes Alyssa Birchmier, who moved here Idaho.

"The trees are what trigger me the most. The trees are a lot different but coming here I have had to start taking my medicine a lot earlier and making sure to keep my car washed," Birchmier explained.

But it's not just the pollen you need to worry about.

Staff said allergy symptoms could trigger asthma attacks.

"Allergies do not automatically cause people to develop asthma. But these conditions are related, and they can occur together. Many people with allergies never develop asthma, but more than 10 million Americans do have allergic asthma according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. In this case, the allergic reaction affects the lungs and the symptoms of asthma can occur. However, not everyone with asthma has the same symptoms. It is important to recognize and treat these symptoms in order to keep asthma under control," they said.

If you're suffering from allergy symptoms, doctors say try over-the-counter medicine but you may need to change your daily routine.

Some suggestions include:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days.  The best time to go outside is after a rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • After spending time outside, take a shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair and put on clean clothes.
  • Wear a face mask if you do outside chores.
  • Start taking over-the-counter antihistamines when high pollen counts are forecasted even before your symptoms start.
  • Use air conditioning in your house and car.
  • Wash your bedding in hot water.
  • Vacuum and clean floors frequently.
  • Use high efficiency air filters and change them frequently.
  • Use mattress and pillow covers.