Tree pollen causing problems for people, pets - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tree pollen causing problems for people, pets

Dog with red itchy eyes because of allergies (Source: WMC Action News 5) Dog with red itchy eyes because of allergies (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Spring is here and that means runny noses, coughing, and sneezing. Pollen is out and it's making millions of people miserable.

DeMaya White, 8, and her doctor can tell you a lot about allergies.

"Allergies are something that gets in your system and makes you sneeze and cough," White said.

Her doctor, Steven Cole, says the problem is that trees pollinate heavily in the spring and millions of pollen grains go airborne.

"There's millions and billions of pollen grains--microscopic--that we breathe into our nose, eyes, and chest," Dr. Cole said.

He also says Memphis' warm and humid conditions make pollen problems even worse, and allergies can even impact pets.

"I'm amazed by how many pets have allergies," Dr. Cole admitted.

Doctors say allergy sufferers cough and sneeze because our bodies automatically sense pollen as a foreign object. When that happens, your body sends out chemicals to attack the pollen.

Those chemicals are what cause runny noses, sneezing, and other symptoms.

"It's very frustrating," DeMaya's mother, Erica White, said. "We get the Zyrtec, Benadryl, and sometimes it helps and sometimes, like today, we had to pick her up from school."

Allergists say tree pollen should be tapering off in just a few weeks. That will help millions of allergy sufferers feel better.

But that will happen about the time grass pollen will be starting up.

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