Mould released by melting snow sends allergy sufferers in search of relief
Calgary's peak allergy season still weeks away, but mould spores from grass and leaves an early irritation
Now that spring is starting to arrive in Calgary, tiny spores that have been lurking under the snow are starting to emerge too, and that has allergy sufferers running to the pharmacy.
Allergy experts say some of those early season symptoms may be due to spores in the air as fast melting snow exposes mould that has been growing on lawns and rotting leaves over the winter.
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Calgary allergist Dr. Joel Doctor estimates five per cent of the population could be allergic to the mould.
But allergy season typically only reaches its peak in June and July, once pollen production picks up in grass and trees, he said.
"It's really hard to predict how the allergy season is going to unfold because it will depend an awful lot on what the precipitation is like going forward and what the temperature is like," he said.
But he adds the symptoms should be controllable and nobody should have to suffer through seasonal allergies.
Pharmacist Debbie Boyle says this is one of the times of the year when she typically sees an allergy-related rush at her pharmacy in Britannia.
"We see more people coming in with questions about their stuffy noses or runny noses or people asking what they can do about their itchy eyes, so the season is here," she said.
Boyle says she typically recommends over-the-counter medication such as anti-histamines and nasal irrigation. If the symptoms persist, she tells patients to consult their family doctor.