Why are allergies worse this year for many Oklahomans?

TULSA, Okla. — Dr. Shahan Stutes, a board certified Allergist with Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic, said there are a number of reasons allergies are worse this spring.

”Right now one of the major pollinators is oak pollen and its at a very high level and patients can experience the standard allergy symptoms sneezing, congestion, runny nose and a lot of itchy watery eyes right now,” said Dr. Stutes.

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He said allergy season is longer this year and it’s only the beginning, adding that climate change is causing everything to bloom at the same time combining multiple allergy symptoms.

He added that as we move into summer we’re going to see grass pollination be really high and starting in mid August we’re going to see ragweed and mold levels tend to be high following rain, especially windy days.

”Pollen is electrostatic and its going to stick to their fur so when they come inside the house, the pet is likely to be covered with the pollen, so they make wipes you can wipe them frequently and that will help remove the dander and some of the pollen that’s stuck to their fur,” said Dr. Stutes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are a few good ways to reduce your exposure to seasonal allergy triggers:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.