An allergy season that won't end
Record tree and mold counts cause a stuffy year for allergy sufferers
GREENFIELD - Our mild winter jump started the allergy season but now it's turned into one that doesn't seem to end.
"This is probably the worst year we've seen in over some 30 years," Eugene Bojar tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka. 30 years is how long Bojar has been suffering from allergies. He goes to Dr. Gary Steven for allergy shots, hoping to put an end to symptoms that don't stop this year.
Dr. Steven has a Burkard air sampler mounted on the roof of Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center where they keep track of what is in the air and how much.
A sample is collected every day from March through October; each mold spore and pollen particle is counted by hand at the clinic. "The main reason is just so I know what's out there. You can talk with patients much more intelligently about the symptoms they're having and help them pre-plan for the symptoms they're having if you know what's out there," Dr. Steven explains.
Tree pollen was very high this spring and impacted allergy sufferers earlier this year due to the warm temperatures and southerly winds bringing up even more pollen from the south.
There was a slightly lower grass allergy season due to the drought conditions but after the rain returned to the forecast, so did the allergens. "The mold counts just exploded, we set a record mold count on July 22 and since then the mold counts have been in the very high range," Dr. Steven says.
And there's a lot more showing up under the microscope this year because of our unusual weather. Eugene Bojar has certainly noticed, "This has been a rather abnormal year for that, and now we've got ragweed coming in."
Which may end up being just as bad as the rest of this year has been, "I thought that the desolation throughout July would pretty much decimate the weeds, so I was hoping that we'd have a lower ragweed season but that's not the way it's shaping up," says Dr. Steven.
There's not much allergy sufferers can do to curb the effects of this year's high pollen and mold counts except to continuously take medication allergists advise. "Take the medications on a regular basis, the biggest mistake people make is they take the medications for a day or two when it's really bad and then they stop it. We know the weed and pollen season and the molds are going to continue through to the end of September and we know that the symptoms are going to come back and so it's a much better way to manage the allergies."
Because the only thing that can really put an end to this prolonged allergy season is a cold snap that lasts.