Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County — A day at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre seems like a perfect recipe for some spring fun. But not for people who suffer from spring allergies. “Post nasal drip, runny nose, itchy eyes. It’s just not pleasurable,” said Mario Cornacchione of Bear Creek Township. 31-year-old Loretta Bell of Plymouth added, “I constantly get congested, have a runny nose, my eyes bother me and itch.”
Ms. Bell says she never had spring allergies until she moved from Florida to Pennsylvania three-years ago. She told Eyewitness News that this year is especially rough on her as she spent Monday afternoon at Kirby Park with her 3-year-old daughter. “Last year, I don’t really remember it bothering me too well. This year, like I said, every morning I wake up congested and every day it bothers me pretty much all day long.”
You can blame this year’s extreme spring allergies on a Pennsylvania tree pollen bombardment brought on by an especially rough winter. “Usually, around the beginning of March you’ll have some trees pollinating but in this case this year the winter was harsh and all of the trees are pollinating at once,” said Dr. Michael Freiman of Commonwealth Health. He says he’s been extra busy the past few weeks treating allergy patients. Some allergy sufferers can get by on over the counter antihistamines, but others may require a prescription. “Your doctor may prescribe systemic steroids like prednisone to get you over the hump. If you have that bad of symptoms you ought to consider allergy skin testing and/or allergy immunotherapy — either allergy shots or allergy drops,” said Dr. Freiman. It’s a medical assist to survive the spring allergy sneezin’ season.
Dr. Freiman says there are other things allergy sufferers can do to limit their symptoms. He recommends wearing a mask while mowing the lawn or taking a shower afterwards. Also, using a nasal rinse and keeping windows closed while driving or indoors can help. Experts also say you should limit exposure mornings from 5:00 to 10:00 when levels of tree pollen are at their worse. Tree pollen is expected to continue being a problem for allergy sufferers throughout the rest of spring and into summer.