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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014


WPXI-TV: Bad Allergies? Pray For Rain, Doctor Says

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

PITTSBURGH -- A record pollen season in Pittsburgh could be to blame for your runny nose and sneezing.

Pittsburgh area hospitals and doctors’ offices report they are seeing a high number of people coming in for allergy treatments.

Dr. Mark Itskowitz from Allegheny General Hospital says over the past two to four weeks, the volume of patients coming in for allergy problems has increased dramatically.

“About four weeks ago we saw an upswing in tree pollens,” explained Itskowitz. “Around that time patients started reporting symptoms of rhinitis, which is nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing.”

The problem seems to be nationwide. People all over the country are flocking to pharmacies for relief.

Allergy sufferer Diane Goldsmith said she’s having a hard time controlling her runny nose.

“I usually have to end up putting Kleenex in there (my nose) and walk around with it there or letting it hang, so I look like a monster,” said Goldsmith.

Pollen tracking devices show that tree pollens are expected to increase in the Pittsburgh area over the weekend.

Itskowitz says there are a few things you can do to help with the problem.

“Try to keep windows closed at home and in the car. When you get home, take a shower to wash the pollens off the body, and you should also turn the air conditioning on and use a filter to try and filter out some of those pollens,” he said.

Another solution Dr. Itskowitz says is pray for rain.

“It is affected by weather, so when you get a heavy rain it knocks down the pollen count for trees. But typically March, April and May are the worst time of year for the patients,” said Itskowitz.

Tree pollen is the cause for many seasonal allergies, according to experts. They said tree pollen season should last a few more weeks. But grass pollens are likely to kick in after that.

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