Breakdown: Why more rain this winter could mean worse allergies

Breakdown: Why winter rain can cause worse allergies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Heavy winter rains could mean a worse allergy season in the spring. Wet winters can have impacts on trees, grass and weed pollen.

The wet winter season could mean an increase in plant growth and could cause the spore count in many areas to soar. Rain can cause pollen grains to burst into tinier particles, which are then released into the air at a much more numerous and higher concentration.

According to allergists, the smaller size pollen could mean more can enter the small airways and noses of people, especially those who are more prone to allergies and cause them to have a reactions.

Mold spores can increase following heavy rains. After storms, mold is the main cause of allergic asthma exacerbations according to researchers.

The common sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes experienced by both adult and children who are seasonal allergy sufferers can be unpleasant enough, but those with asthma or other serious respiratory symptoms need to be especially prepared.

There are non-medical steps you can take to lessen the effect of rain allergies, according to a physician at the National Institutes of Health

  • Limit your pollen exposure: Roll up the windows in your car or home.
  • Run a HEPA filter or fan at home to circulate air through your house.
  • Keep a tissue box, antihistamines and nasal sprays on hand.
  • When you are outdoors, pollen is falling on you. Take a shower every night and wash your hair and skin, so you are not sleeping in the very substances that aggravate your symptoms.
  • Minimize time outdoors when there are high pollen counts, such as early in the morning.
  • Wear glasses to protect your eyes and a hat to protect your face; the nose and mouth are entrances for pollen so a facemask might be helpful.