Halifax allergy sufferers in for rough season, doctor says
Delayed spring means trees will pack pollen punch when warm weather arrives
Halifax allergy sufferers will likely be in for a difficult summer, according to one allergist who says the cold weather and delayed spring mean trees haven't released much pollen so far.
"People will complain more for sure," said pediatric allergist Dr. Sandy Kapur.
Kapur said when things warm up the trees will release a lot of pollen at once.
"That quick up-spike in pollen levels sometimes causes an increase in allergies," said Kapur. "That big sort of flood of pollen all at once makes people have more symptoms."
Shawn O’Brien, who lives in Bedford, has dealt with allergies his entire life.
"I just start thinking about allergies and my nose gets stuffy," he said. "If this year's going to be a big year for allergies, then [it's] time for me to call my doctor and maybe go get a shot."
Kapur said Nova Scotia goes through about three cycles of seasonal allergies.
Tree season normally starts in early April. This year, it's a little late. Grass season typically starts in late May and is followed by weed season in August and September.
Anne Hill, a nurse who works in Kapur's office, said she struggles with allergies.
"They were quite debilitating when I first got them because I didn’t understand really what was happening," said Hill. "I just had really runny eyes, nose, itchy lips."
Hill has tried pills and shots but has had difficulty relieving her symptoms.
Now, she’s on a new treatment plan and has her fingers crossed it will work in time for the rough season ahead.
"I’m really looking forward to hopefully this working," she said.
Kapur said the most important thing people can do before the season starts is identify what their allergens are, and then start a treatment plan.
Many of his patients have already begun taking their allergy medication for the season.