Seasonal allergies cropping up early in Utah, allergist says warmer weather may be to blame

Posted at 6:45 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 20:46:50-04

DRAPER, Utah – Allergists in Utah say allergy season is off to an early start, and one allergist thinks he knows why.

Dr. Duane Harris is an allergist at Intermountain Allergy and Asthma of Draper and says the abnormally warm winter is the culprit and it's affecting the trees.

“I just did the pollen count today and there were one, two, three, four, five trees that were very high. And two trees that were high," Harris said.

He says people can expect another bad season that will last longer, just like last year.

“I think this is a couple of weeks early. I'm a believer in Climate Change and I think it's affected the pollen,” Harris said.

Trees may be the focus now, but Harris warns grasses will pose problems soon too.

“Grass season, which is typically late May, June, early July has been starting in early May or even late April. Last year was done in June which is really uncommon," Harris said.

If today feels especially rough, Harris says a windy day before a storm is typically the worst for allergy sufferers.

“The rain washes the pollen out of the air. The pollen that's on the ground gets washed down the gutter," Harris said.

Over the counter medications such as nasal sprays and eye drops can offer some relief.

“If you know your symptoms are going to start in March, you should probably start a nose spray late February or early March so you're on it for several days before you think things are going to show it up,” Harris said.

There are some other steps people can take to combat the effects.

  • Keep doors and windows closed. Use air conditioning instead.
  • Take a shower before bed to rinse pollen off hair and skin.
  • Use good, high-quality furnace filters.

“You have a little mini-pollen free zone in your home. It makes a huge difference,” Harris said.

To check the daily pollen count, click here.