SALT LAKE CITY – The middle of April means it’s tax time and for many Utahns, it also marks the start of allergy season.
Dr. Douglas Jones, an allergist with Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, says an estimated 25 percent of the population suffers from seasonal allergies.
He says for many people allergies and asthma are closely linked.
“I like to think of allergies as just creating inflammation,” he says. “It can create the inflammation in the sinuses, the nose, the airways.
“It can also create inflammation down into the lungs. When we get that inflammation in the lungs, that’s basically asthma.”
Jones says those allergic to tree pollen and grasses will likely experience symptoms for the next few months.
He says the first line of defense should be avoidance measures, including closing windows in your car and house.
Jones exlains symptoms can be mild with a runny nose and watering eyes, and far more severe in some cases.
“People’s throats may swell,” he says. “They may have difficulty breathing. Blood pressure can be affected where it’s low, and so they get lightheaded. Rash all over the body.
“So, they can have some pretty severe symptoms.”
Jones says over-the-counter antihistamines usually work for mild symptoms, but he says anyone with severe symptoms should get to a doctor.