Pollen allergies are more than just sneezing
Posted on May 17, 2018

The tree pollen season is upon us! The cold weather in April forced the early pollinating tree species to wait, so they’re all pollinating at the same time now and we’re reaching record tree pollen levels!

We urge everyone to take advantage of the assistance we can provide - our warm weather season here in Wisconsin is too short to spend much of it indoors because your outdoor allergies make you miserable! It’s also important to keep in mind that allergies can be much worse than simply making you miserable. Uncontrolled inflammation in the nose, sinuses and lungs leads to complications such as frequent sinus or ear infections, and developing or worsening asthma. It’s also very important to breathe through your nose at night; if you get so stuffy that you have to breathe through your mouth at night so much that you wake up with a dry mouth, you lose the antibacterial effect of saliva, putting you at greater risk of tooth disease and gum disease.

Many allergy sufferers find that their itchy, watery eyes are worse in Spring than at any other time of the year. People are often embarrassed by redness in their eyes and find that artificial tears don’t help. But what is not well known is that drops that reduce redness frequently cause even greater eye irritation. Prescription antihistamine eye drops work better for the itching and watering, also reduce the redness, and can be used regularly without causing irritation. If using artificial tears frequently doesn’t provide the relief you need, it’s better to get an allergy evaluation and try some of the prescription options.

Shown above is a section of the high pollen count slide from May 17, 2018 at 40x magnification. All of the pink dots are tree pollen - the small ones are oak and the larger heart-shaped ones are pine. Molds are also present, but only visible when observing at 400x magnification.

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