Springtime in Oklahoma, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and temperatures are absolutely amazing. But spend any time in the state in spring and you will quickly understand why Oklahoma ranks among the top ten states for allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
“We just have great growing seasons in terms of the length so our springs and our summers, they’re not too hot they’re not too cold,” said Dr. Dean Atkinson with the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic for the reasoning behind the high ranking. “We don’t get the heavy freezes that typically last that long.”
Since plants like the mountain cedars and the eastern red cedars tend to thrive in our environment with the switch from cold to warm temperatures, they pollinate very heavily causing our allergies to explode.
But for some Oklahoma Allergy sufferers, this year seems to be worse than previous years.
“They’re always bad at this time of year. So, for most people it’s a pretty typical season, maybe a little worse,” said Dr. Atkinson. “But if we get a little more rain, it will definitely get a lot worse.”
That’s because rain makes plants and trees grow and pollinate. The rain cleans pollen from the air and on surfaces, but it also supplies a needed water source for those plants and trees, helping them to grow bigger and faster.
For Oklahoma Allergy sufferers, relief may come in the form of “nasal steroid sprays, which when used regularly are very effective. There’s also antihistamines that come in a variety of over-the-counter forms,” said Atkinson.
Keeping your windows closed, bathe indoor pets regularly, and keep them off your bed. And for those with dust mite allergies, a good mattress casing is suggested as other recommendations for those suffering with outdoor allergies.
Atkinson said things typically calm in the summer months, but if your allergies are out of control, it may be time to escalate things to prescription medications, or even an allergy shot.