PROVO, Utah – The blossoms may be pretty to look at, but for some, the sight of them is just plain misery. An increase in pollen is causing allergy symptoms.
An allergy nurse at Intermountain Allergy and Asthma in Draper said that this year, all the trees pollinated at once due to the late snow.
Official pollen reports from Intermountain show a sharp increase in tree pollen during the second week of March. Then for seven days in a row, tree pollen measured at very high. Cottonwood is at the highest pollen count as of the March 27 report.
Those with seasonal allergies suffer when pollen counts are so high. Utah native Ashley Ouimette noticed a big difference in her allergy symptoms.
“(The) last couple weeks, my nose is like non-stop either running or really, really clogged. Then my eyes are constantly itchy. I can’t ever put my contacts in because I’d probably just rip them with how much I itch my eyes. It’s really bad,” Ouimette said.
A local pharmacist said the most common symptoms caused by seasonal allergies are itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, a scratchy throat and nasal congestion. She recommends over-the-counter antihistamines like Zyrtec and Allegra, as well as eye drops and nasal sprays to treat symptoms.
Unfortunately, those with allergies will likely not see much improvement in the near future. The allergy nurse said some trees will continue to pollinate until the beginning of June. By that time, grass pollen will reach high levels.