CORNWALL, Ontario – If you’re sneezing more often than normal this year, or your eyes feel like they’re running off your face there’s a good reason.
WORST. ALLERGY. SEASON. EVER.
Thanks to a snowy winter and a delayed start to spring, Mother Nature is hitting us with a mixed bag of allergens all at once.
This year it seems everyone is getting into the act all at once.
“It’s not unexpected,” said local medical officer of health Paul Roumeliotis. “Whenever we have a situation where it goes from cold to hot quickly, you get increased pollenization at the same time.”
While April was cold and generally miserable, there have been some beautiful May days that have trees exploding with microscopic pollen that is plaguing areas sinuses.
“At this time of year it’s the tree pollens that are the culprit,” said Roumeltiotis.
Typically trees like oak and birch release their pollen first, and next comes ash and poplar, while grass gets into the act during the dog days of summer.
Ragweed follows in the fall.
Roumeliotis urged people to use allergy medication when necessary, increase the use of puffers if they have asthma or COPD, and keep windows closed in the morning when pollen is most active.
The Globe and Mail reported that a 2010 survey from pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, shows that more than eight million Canadians have an allergy with symptoms of one kind or another – coughing, constant sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose.
“It can feel like a cold that never goes away,” said Roumeliotis.
Allergies are created when the body’s immune system releases histamine to respond to incoming pollen, leading to the cold-like symptoms.