It’s allergy season, and for many people, the sneezing and itchiness just do not seem to go away.
This year, allergy season seems to be worse than previous years and people have to wait weeks before being seen by an allergist.
While the vibrant yellow flowers and grassy hillsides of the Central Coast make for beautiful scenery, they may also be the cause of your runny nose, sneezing, itchiness and watery eyes.
“It’s been horrible. Everywhere I go I’ll just step outside for a minute and I’ll just nonstop be sneezing,” said Olivia Ritchie from San Luis Obispo.
While food and pets cause allergies, pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies.
Allergist Dr. Robert Holzhauer says this year, it is worse than prior years because of how much rain we’ve had and because of the recent winds.
“May is the peak for grass pollination. There is just an abundance of that vegetation that’s causing people to be particularly miserable this year,” Dr. Holzhauer said.
If symptoms are mild, Dr. Holzhauer recommends over-the-counter antihistamines or nasal sprays to help reduce the effects of your allergy.
“And those whose symptoms are more severe or are not responding to the therapy are the ones we tend to see,” Dr. Holzhauer explained.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people suffer from some type of allergy and it is all passed down genetically.
“I would say it’s definitely part of my lifestyle now. I just sort of adapt and keep moving, I can’t let it hold me back but allergy season is real, and it’s difficult. Always say ‘bless you’ to someone who sneezes,” Ritchie added.
Grass pollination continues through mid-June so those with allergies have about a month to go.
To reduce your exposure you can always minimize your time outside and keep windows closed at all times.
The annual cost to Americans with allergies is over $18 billion and allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.