Allergies acting up? High pollen, smoky conditions to blame

Local News

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Allergy sufferers have a new wave of pollen to battle as weed pollen starts to peak. It’s the start of our fall allergies, and several weeds now overlap with the grass pollen coming to an end.

“You expect it in the spring, like when the spring happens you know you are going to get the allergies, but I don’t ever remember them being this bad at the end of the summer,” Trina Cobbley, Brigham City mother, said. 

Allergy season starts in the spring with tree pollen, then heads into grass and mold season for the bulk of the summer, and now weeds bloom full throttle and cause issues. Utah’s most popular weeds include sagebrush, ragweed, and chenopods. The weeds can be found in backyards, along with the side of the road and throughout Northern and Southern Utah. Those facing symptoms say this summer has offered little relief.

“You’re trying to get those last couple of weeks of good weather outside with your kids but you know you are going to pay the price if you take them outside,” Trina Cobbley, Brigham City mother, said. 

Air quality in the summer can decline due to rising ozone levels, but this year, we’ve also faced an abundance of wildfire smoke.

“You knew there was smoke outside, so you know that’s happening, so you are already having a hard time breathing and all of sudden you start sneezing. This is a rough time to be outside,” Cobbley said.

The stubborn wildfire smoke does a number on asthmatics and also impacts those with allergies. Our drought conditions and gusty winds also easily spread pollen.

“The dry air never helps especially when it becomes windy, it will blow pollen and dust and exacerbate a lot of those symptoms,” Marci Niemeyer of Intermountain Allergy and Asthma said.

The office sees an uptick of patients during allergy season, and many folks say this is the worst it has been in years. Many times if you fight cold symptoms in the summer and over the counter cold medicine is not working, you may be fighting allergies you didn’t know you had. A skin test can help narrow in on what you are allergic to, and it might be helpful information because we won’t be getting any relief for a few months. 

“Usually the first snow, people’s symptoms will start lessening. Usually June to November, you will still see a lot of those weed allergy symptoms occur,” Marci Niemeyer of Intermountain Allergy and Asthma said.

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