Allergy season well underway in North Carolina

Raleigh was named again as one of the most challenging places to live in the country if you have spring allergies.
April 2, 2014 4:47:17 AM PDT
With the first day of April comes the start of spring allergy season, and North Carolina is a particularly bad state when it comes to allergies.

Raleigh was named again as one of the most challenging places to live in the country if you have spring allergies by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The city was ranked number 64.

Click here to see the list (.pdf)

At least one local family with children who suffer from allergies is not at all surprised where the City of Oaks sizes up on the list.

"We were kind of skeptical, me and my wife, about bringing them out at first," said Raleigh resident Stephen Poole. "However, the pollen count is not too bad today."

The Pooles work very hard to find a balance of letting their kids be kids, and also making sure their daughters aren't outdoors too often. Seven-year-old Sadie and 3-year-old Savannah take a few medications to help cope.

"We try and tackle it before the season comes in, and that way during the season it's pretty controlled," said Talitha Poole.

The beautiful weather also kicks up the pollen count.

"It is very difficult to avoid bad springtime allergies," said specialist Dr. Brett Dorfman. "Raleigh is the City of Oaks, and it's that oak pollen that gives lots of people trouble."

Dorfman is an ear nose and throat specialist. He said there is not much you can do to prevent allergies, but you can start treating the symptoms in advance.

"When you come inside from being outside, certainly washing hands, taking a shower, changing your clothes are simple, easy things you can do to try and decrease the amount of pollen that's in your local environment," said Dorfman.

He also explained the highest levels of pollen usually happen during the pre-dawn and pre-dusk times. So it's better to stay indoors then.

The Pooles are taking those precautions and others to minimize the girls' runny noses, watery eyes, and extensive sneezing.

"Definitely, we have to be careful and keep them in the house and moderate how they come outside," said Stephen Poole.

You can get over-the-counter products to help treat the symptoms. Dorfman says for the first time ever, you can get a nasal over-the-counter steroid spray. You used to have to get a prescription for that, but the FDA approved that option within the last few months.

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