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Conditions Increase Allergy Symptoms - KOAM TV 7

Conditions Increase Allergy Symptoms

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Itchy eyes, sinus pressure, congestion. it's John Rowe's reality every spring. 

"My eyes get all swollen," Rowe said. "I start sneezing a lot. Coughing."

Rowe's a bartender at McCarthy's Pub. A job not too ideal for allergies. 

"If I've got this runny nose or whatever, just looking nasty," Rowe said. "Nobody's gonna want to come in and order a drink from somebody like that."

Rowe's allergies have already kicked up. And isn't being helped by the dry, spring wind. Conditions also conducive to wildfires; which Rowe saw an example of Wednesday night. 

"We walked out on the front step here, and just looked, and you could see smoke slowly just coming this way," Rowe said. 

Pharmacist Neil Schmidt says smoke from neighboring fires can actually make symptoms worse than the pollen count would dictate.  

"It could basically exacerbates the symptoms caused by pre-existing allergy symptoms," Schmidt said. "It may not necessarily be an allergen, but if someone's already having respiratory problems then it may compound the problem."

The same conditions causing wildfires are the same conditions now causing early allergies. The unusually-warm winter caused many trees and flowers to bloom early. And now the strong winds are spreading that pollen.

"The wind is a driving factor [of allergies]," Schmidt said. "Especially in Southeast Kansas."

"If it's real bad I'll take a couple different showers throughout the day to try and wash off any dust and pollen I get," Rowe said. "Wash my eyes out multiple times a day. And keep on putting eye drops in. Just to do everything I can and then stay in doors."

Drugs with pseudoephedrine require a prescription in Crawford County, KS. Pharmacists say now is an ideal time to contact your care provider. 

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