• Change in weather causes allergy problems

    By: Allison Latos


    CHARLOTTE - "Watery eyes, scratchy throat and I get a slight headache," said allergy sufferer, Von Muhammad.

    He knows when he starts to feel those symptoms, the season is here.

     Allergist Dr. Vandana Patel believes this season will be worse than last year and symptoms are starting in patients' eyes.

    “The surface of the eye is what hits the environment," said Patel.  "It is the windshield of the body so to speak."

    Channel 9's team of meteorologists tracked the drastic weather swing from the inches of snow to spring temperatures in just 10 days.

    That quick change sparked pollen production.

    "When the plants get a strong signal that the season is changing, all the plants start en masse so it tends to be a more dramatic start to the pollens," said Patel.

    The big tree pollen producers are cedar, pine and elm, but Patel said hickory, oak, pecan, walnut and maple will make many people feel miserable.

    Patients often reach for over-the-counter relief.

    Pikes Pharmacy just stocked shelves with a new nasal steroid on Friday, but Patel warns patients should do their research.

    "Certain medications are a little dangerous," she said.

    Muhammad will keep reaching for a locally grown remedy.

    "I think I'll increase my supply of local honey," he said.

    It is not just itchy eyes and scratchy throats patients will feel.

    Patel thinks skin problems will be bad this year, including eczema and hives.

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