Saturday, August 17, 2019
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Upper Cumberland Facing Rough Allergy Season's National Allergy Map shows high pollen counts across the state and most of the Southeastern United States (Photo:

Upper Cumberland Facing Rough Allergy Season

It could be a rough spring for allergy sufferers.

Erin Rohman is a board-certified allergist for Cookeville’s Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center.

“I do know that we’ve already seen quite of bit of pollen and it’s been pretty high,” Rohman said. “What people forget about a lot is that in our area we also have mold, which is a year-round problem and it’s been on the radar for us as well. I would say, for allergy sufferers it could shape up to be a pretty bad spring.”

Tree pollen counts have already spiked across the Upper Cumberland and could get worse as spring comes into full bloom. The allergy map indicates high pollen counts across the southeast.

Rohman said steps can be taken to protect yourself during days with high pollen counts.

“Don’t have the windows up to let that breeze come in. It feels good, but it also lets the pollen and other irritants into your home,” Rohman said. “Same thing when you’re driving. Of course, it’s easy to drive by fresh cut grass with your windows down, but all of that gets in your car, on your clothes, and in your airways too.”

Over-the-counter medications can treat most allergy symptoms. Rohman said you should see a doctor if you aren’t experienced in dealing with allergies.

“Some of the things can be confusing over-the-counter and you don’t want to be taking too much of something,” Rohman said. “There are also some medicines out there that have serious side effects, both nose sprays and tablets. If you have problems with blood pressure or dealing with some other medical conditions, it can actually be dangerous to take over the counter allergy medications.”

Rohman also said people can get an allergy test to determine specific allergy risks and a treatment plan.