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Allergies Spiking in Western Mass

Allergies 2SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — With all that warm weather and outside activities comes itching and sneezing.

Allergies are now in full swing this time of year.

For Jonencia Wood – this time of year is a real headache.

“Basically the level of misery is high. I just don’t want to deal with it. But more importantly it’s really hard to focus when you have a sinus fog and just the allergies are constantly going.”

Wood’s  is a common story right now – doctor’s offices are flooded with people seeking relief.

And according to allergist, Dr. Robert McGovern this year especially.

The main culprit this time of year is tree pollen. And two in particular: elm and poplar.

Plus, the weather has only made things worse… giving the trees the right conditions for healthy growth and the resulting pollen the right condition to spread.

But what’s healthy for trees can sometimes be unhealthy for us.

It’s dry with a little bit of wind,” explained Dr. McGovern.  “It really disseminates the pollen. Earlier this year, the wet spring really set up the environment for a lot of pollen.”

And while there’s no way to escape nature – there are some things you can do to keep your symptoms to a minimum.

“You can stay indoors<” explained Dr. McGovern You can go into air conditioning. You can close the windows and turn on the ac in your car. You can take over the counter antihistamine and medications.”

If that still doesn’t work – it may be time see your doctor.

“That’s why I came back,” said Wood with a laugh. “I’m hoping (to be cured).”.

Sometimes hope is the best medicine of all.

Dr. McGovern said the next wave of allergens will be grass pollen.

They’ll hit peak levels right around mid-May.

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