Oklahoma Doctors Seeing Spike In Allergy Sufferers
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma allergists have issued a "very high alert” for allergies. The pollen count is high across the board, but ragweed is the big one giving sufferers a hard time this season. Experts said about 10-30 percent of adults have allergies, many of them allergic to ragweed.
On the roof of the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic, ragweed has been coating their high-tech contraption recently.
“This is where all the pollen and mold get collected,” a technician told News 9. She was pointing to a machine that spins with the wind direction and sucks in the air, grabbing particles that stick to a slide.
And every day allergy experts look at the slide under a microscope and take a tally.
“This year with all the rain, it’s been favorable for all these ragweed plants to get really big and each plant can release up to a million or more pollen each season and so all of that is in the air. And for people that are allergic, it can make them miserable,” said board certified allergist Dr. Gregory Metz with the clinic.
Joel McSwain said he's been miserable this year. He traveled two hours to get treatment from Dr. Metz. “Today’s my day to actually start my allergy injections. Hopefully I’ll get some help with it,” he said.
“It can be really severe to where they’re completely plugged up, they’re having these sneezing fits, they’re not sleeping well – it can really affect a lot of other things,” Dr. Metz explained.
But there are some ways you can stay ahead of the suffering:
- Stay inside if possible
- Close your windows
- Use the air conditioning and replace filters
- Wash your hands
- Change your clothes after being outside
There are also over-the-counter medications that can be effective.
“There are sinus washes that clean out the sinuses. There’s antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec and others. And there’s nasal sprays. And when that’s not enough, we encourage patients to see an allergist to find out other treatment options,” Dr. Metz said.
There are also treatment options for pets. If you see your outdoor animal sneezing or scratching, the pollen could be making them just as miserable.