Surviving spring: Allergies are hitting people early this year

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Most people are likely enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, but if you’re an allergy sufferer, probably not so much.

Dr. William Hark, a Richmond allergist, says more people than normal are flooding his office looking for relief.

“We have seen a lot of people with itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and sinus headaches. I mean people are miserable out there,” Dr. Hark explained.

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The good news is help is out there.

Hark says Claritin, Zyrtec, and Nasacort can help relieve symptoms.

“Those are over-the-counters, you can get the generics that are even cheaper,” Dr. Hark explained.

Hark says there are some additional things you can do.

“Keep your windows closed and turn your air conditioning on. Don’t hang laundry out to dry. The nicer and fresher it smells, the more pollen is going to stick to it, and if you have been outdoors, take a bath or shower before you go to bed to wash off all the mold and pollen,” Dr. Hark said.

If you’re going to be outside in the yard, cover your face with a mask so you don’t end up having to pay the doctor a visit.

“If the over-the-counter medications are not helping, it is important to get allergy testing to figure out what you are allergic to,” Dr. Hark added. “There is even the option of allergy shots.”

Hark says he usually tells his patients to start taking allergy medicines in early February daily through the end of the allergy season.

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