Allergy symptoms are flaring due to heavy pollen - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Allergy symptoms are flaring due to heavy pollen

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Heavy pollen is causing some problems for many people throughout the Tennessee Valley.

Tuesday's pollen count reached 1926. Wednesday's hit 2117. Typically anything over 120 is considered extremely high. 

It's why the Chattanooga Allergy Clinic on Lee Highway has been staying busy lately, filled with patients looking for relief from mother nature. 

Kayce Haymes, an allergy patient said the pollen has been a little overwhelming. She and her son moved to the Scenic City from Idaho ten years ago. they both get an allergy shot every week, which has helped a lot. 

"It's still kind of a slap in the face every Spring you know when your white car is yellow," said Haymes. "We had no idea coming to the South that the pollen and allergies were such an issue until spring hit."

The Chattanooga Allergy Clinic has fiver doctors, and each of them has seen about 40 patients every day, according to Dr. Todd Levin, who works at the clinic. Levin said he thinks the weather is to blame. 

"It started off really early this year way earlier than normal; in the middle of February, and then we had a big frost that knocked off all the allergies killed off the trees. Plus we had the fires in the fall and that's created a lot of new growth," said Levin. "Every time it gets really cold the pollen count is dropping, and when it warms up again the it starts increasing again. It's called the priming effect."

Doctor Levin explained tree pollen is what's impacting patients the most. He said most of it is pine, which is the yellow stuff that covers vehicles. 

"Over the next couple of weeks we will probably see grass pollen as it warms up and grass will also create a double whammy with tree pollen."

Levin said when it comes fighting tree pollen allergies, keep your car and home windows closed, and wash often. He also recommends keeping your pet out of your bedroom, even if you aren't allergic to them. 

He said allergy shots are the best to reduce how allergic you are make and can potentially cure them. 

Allergy shots have a 30-49 percent cure rate, and are more efficient than the majority of allergy medications, according to Levin. 

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