Don’t let high pollen levels get you down, local doc says

Here are some suggestions from Dr. Bo Sherwood, medical director of Piedmont Augusta Prompt Care.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s hard to cope when simply stepping outside could send you into a sneezing frenzy, especially when your allergy symptoms could mimic more serious ailments from colds to COVID.

“It can be confusing because coughing and shortness of breath are symptoms of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies,” said Dr. Bo Sherwood, medical director of Piedmont Augusta Prompt Care. “A major difference between COVID-19 and allergies is a fever. If your temperature rises, it’s most likely not allergies.”


Also consider that if your symptoms are related to allergies, they’ll probably get worse when you go outside.

You don’t have to let pollen spores back you into a corner.

Sherwood offered this advice:

1. Limit your time outside when pollen counts are high. The easiest way to stifle allergy flare-ups is to cut down on direct exposure to the source.

2. Ensure your indoor air is clean. While we can’t control the pollen levels, we can take measures to manage the air levels of our indoor environments. After all, it’s a lot easier for our bodies to recover from allergen exposure when they aren’t also dealing with mold spores or excess dust particles.

3. Use a saline solution regularly rinse your sinuses. In the moments when allergies are particularly unbearable, a saline rinse can make a significant difference. Be sure to follow the instructions for your product to ensure you don’t use it too frequently.

4. Reduce the number of houseplants you keep. Another major source of sinus irritation is the presence of our green roommates, which can also be generating those pesky pollen spores.

5. Make an appointment with your primary-care physician or an allergist. The most effective way to manage your allergy symptoms long-term is to determine your specific triggers and develop a treatment plan.