Sneezing? Itchy Eyes? High Pollen Forecast for NYC


allergiesNYC – Attention, allergy sufferers: we know you’re coughing, mercilessly sneezing and desperately want to claw your itchy eyes out of your head. Unfortunately, today won’t be any better than the last day you spent in a fog.The National Weather Service forecasts high tree pollen throughout the area over the next few days. Sycamore, Birch and Aspen trees have the highest level of pollen, so if you’re an allergy sufferer, we wouldn’t recommend strolling through a park full of those.

Dr. Mary Ann Michelis, chief of allergy and immunology at Hackensack University Medical Center, says if your symptoms don’t improve with over-the-counter medicines in a week or ten days, you need to see a doctor.

“If you have congestion triggered by allergies and you have seasonal rhinitis, it may put you more at risk for sinus infections because the mucus doesn’t drain and it pools in the sinuses and if you’re exposed to an infectious agent, you get infected,” she said.

Tree pollen notoriously rears its head in early April, but doesn’t peak until mid-May — and then, of course, the grass pollen begins to affect us at the end of May.

Anna Maria Da Costa, an RN in the allergy unit, says don’t wait until you are already suffering.

“Instead of waiting til your symptoms are completely out of control and nothing over the counter works, be proactive. See a specialist, see what you’re allergic to,” she said.

“There are things you can do for avoidance purposes: identifying the trigger, avoiding it…knowing what medications are out there that can help. And then there are allergy injections that you can pursue if all else fails,” she added.

{Associated Press / NBC New York / Newscenter}