Monday, May 24, 2010
Medical Reports: Pollen Problem
If walking outside makes your eyes water and causes a sneezing fit, you're not alone. The pollen count is the highest it's been in years and people who don't even have allergies are suffering. 7's Christine Cruz shows us how to get relief from this pollen problem.
WSVN -- The sneezing. The sniffling. The itchy, watery eyes. Allergies can make you miserable, but for many this year has been much worse.
Debra Miller and her 7-year-old son, Benjamin, have both been suffering. Ben has had allergies since he was a toddler, but this year it's been more severe.
Debra Miller: "A runny nose, and then it got to the point that he had a really bad fever and sinus infection."
And it didn't stop there.
Debra Miller: "His eyes became, it looked like pink eye, they were red and crusty and itching, and he was complaining all the time."
So they went to see allergist Shahne Fatteh for help.
Dr. Shahnez Fatteh, Allergist, Memorial Healthcare System: "It's just been a horrific allergy season."
She says our unusually colder weather this winter and a slow warmup this spring has caused a pollen peak.
Dr. Shahnez Fatteh, Allergist, Memorial Healthcare System: "All the traditional pollens, like the oaks and pines that typically start blooming in January and February, shifted about six to eight weeks. We've really come into a really high surge of pollen."
Dr. Fatteh says she's even seen people who don't usually have allergies who are suffering.
Dr. Shahnez Fatteh: "We've seen a tremendous increase in eye allergy, particularly allergic conjunctivitis, so a lot of swelling of the upper and lower eyelids and tearing."
Dr. Fattah says if you are suffering there are simple ways to protect yourself. Always wear sunglasses, they can shield your eyes from pollen. Keep doors and windows closed and your air conditioner on and stay indoors during peak pollen times.
Dr. Shahnez Fatteh: "Pollen counts are going to be heavier first thing in the morning, so if you're a walker, go into a mall and walk or save that until the evening."
A number of over the counter medications, like antihistamines can help relieve symptoms.
"Ok this is our arsenal."
Young Ben needed steroids and eye drops to get his allergies under control, but he still has to take anti-allergy medication every day.
Ben: "I'm not going down, I'm jumping down!"
Ben is feeling better and can even play outdoors without getting too itchy.
And now that the warm weather has started, doctors say summer allergies are on the way.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Shahnez Fatteh
817 S. University Drive
Plantation, FL 33324
Tel: (954) 723-0334