Allergy expert says it takes one full season to even realize you have allergies

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 9:00 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Allergies come in waves. In the spring, allergens from trees are the most common, causing many people to keep allergy medicine well stocked. During the springtime, itchy eyes and a runny nose might not be a cold, it could be allergies. Dr. Vaughan Bowen, an allergy expert with Monument Health, says during this time of year, allergies are usually caused by blooming trees.

“So, it has to be wind-born and has to go a long distance to cause a lot of symptoms. Many people see pine needles and pollen drop onto the ground, and they think that is causing symptoms. But that’s so heavy it usually doesn’t cause a lot of symptoms,” says Bowen.

Bowen suggests treating your symptoms with a trip to the drugstore. “Taking over-the-counter medications is really the way to start. I would recommend starting two to three weeks before the season starts on the nasal steroid spray.” Bowen’s patients say they feel the full effects of allergies around June 1. So, start now!

People who recently moved to the area may be fooled at first, thinking they are free of allergies. “It takes one complete season exposure of to that allergen, to cause a response. So, someone that moves to the area, it usually takes a year or two before they usually get sensitized,” says Bowen.

In children experiencing allergies for the first time, Bowen suggests treating them now. “If I have a young child with allergy symptoms and get them tested. That might help prevent full-blown asthma,” explains Bowen.

As we get older, Bowen says we have less of an allergic response. So cheers to the golden years!