MIDLAND-ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Spring has arrived and pollen levels are high in the basin.
Pollen is a major spring allergy trigger. It can be freed from trees, grass and weeds.
“Right now my allergies are really kicking in with the change of seasons,” said Chris, a local allergy sufferer. Chris is a landscaper who spends a lot of time outdoors. He wears goggles and a face covering to reduce the intake of allergens.
“[It] causes my asthma to act. My eyes itch. I start to sneeze a lot. It’s hard to breathe and everything,” said David, another resident with allergies.
“I feel like it’s worse this year than before. I feel like I don’t have such severe allergies,” Stormy Jackson said. She was on her way inside the 42nd Street Target in Odessa when our Rob Tooke stopped to talk to her. “Actually, we’re about to go inside to find something I can take and hope it works. Because I’m actually having a baby tomorrow, and I can’t wait to cough while giving birth.
So where does all this pollen come from? Who is guilty ?
“Right now we’re looking at the trees,” Nikki Wade said.
Wade is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Aspire Allergy and Sinus in Midland and Odessa.
“So currently I would say Juniper, Mulberries are bred [pollen count]. The ash trees are also high right now,” Wade said.
It has become sneezing season in the Midland-Odessa region.
Recent winds, combined with dry weather, create the right conditions for pollen to be easily blown around, Wade said. Gusts of wind can carry pollen near and far, sometimes for miles.
When there’s a high pollen count, Wade said, try to stay indoors. But if you need to be outside, Wade said to shower once you’re back inside, if possible.
“Change your clothes, get rid of those pollens,” she said.
Wade recommends over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays. If allergies are making your quality of life worse, then Wade said it’s time to get tested and treated.
“You can get tested and find out what you’re allergic to,” Wade said. “From there, immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that we can do.”
Wade said immunotherapy can be given by injection or drops. Wade also said it can help reduce allergy-related symptoms.