Will Cold Snap End Allergies?

By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter
By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter

Knoxville (WVLT) - Allergy sufferers were reaching for the box of tissues early this year.

Pollen counts in much of the southeast hit record highs a couple weeks ago.

And then, record low temperatures settled into East Tennessee.

Medical Reporter Jessa Goddard finds out whether the weather will have any impact on East Tennessee health.

From record highs to record lows in a matter of weeks.

We're talking a 60 degree slide, from 83 degrees to 23.

For allergy sufferers it could mean brief relief from the sniffling and sneezing.

It was one of the worst starts to allergy season ever in the southeast. Pollen counts, considered high at 120, were in the thousands and only slightly better now.

"Well, the pollen counts have dropped slightly, but they're still in the high range, so we're still seeing a lot of tree and a lot of mold pollen on the counters," But Doctor Ty Prince of the Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center says last weekend's freezing temperatures, while unpleasantly cold, could bring some relief to spring allergy sufferers. "What we will see are drastic differences in people's congestion and sometimes runny nose when they come into contact with this cold air."

But this drop in temperature isn't expected to last much longer. In fact, highs are forecast to reach back into the 70's by the end of the week.

And when the temperature goes up, so will pollen counts and allergy symptoms.

"If your sinuses are already irritated from your allergies and you have a significant temperature change, or barometric pressure change, then you can have some allergy symptoms just going out into this cold air," Dr. Prince says.

This week's warmer temperatures will help to start the pollination process of trees again.

Besides cooler temperatures, relief could also come in the form of rain mid week, which could wash away some of the pollen from windshields and patio furniture.

While continuing to take your allergy medications will help treat your symptoms, avoidance is best.

The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid being around what you're allergic to.

You can't completely avoid pollen, but you can minimize your exposure to it, by avoiding the outdoors in the early morning hours.


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