Pollen season especially bad for Windsor-Essex allergy sufferers

Wet spring has made stuff grow a lot so allergies worse than usual

Wet weather feeds growth of grass, pollen producers

Biodiversity coordinator for the City of Windsor Tom Preney braves a close encounter with orchard grass which he is allergic to. (Dale Molnar/CBC News)

The wet weather this spring has given rise to vegetation that is increasing the amount of pollen in the air, and subsequently more irritation for allergy sufferers.

Deb Bennett, who suffers from asthma, said this year is especially tough.

"The allergy symptoms have caused not only the asthma-type symptoms to be aggravated, but it has also caused the coughing, itching eyes, swelling of the eyes — it's just been a very very bad season," said Bennett, labouring to speak.

A structural fire in Kelowna, B.C. has compromised air quality and anyone experiencing symptoms such as continuing eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheezing, should follow the advice of their health care provider, says Environment Canada. (Dale Molnar/CBC News)

Pharmacist Kevin Perrone at Brady's Drug Store in Essex said people with allergies are coming in in droves to drug stores and walk-in clinics around the area looking for relief. But Perrone says prevention is the best cure.

"Make sure you reduce your exposure to the pollen. So stay indoors during dry windy days. Potentially invest in a good filter for the indoor of the house. And if you know it's going to be a particularly bad pollen day check your local television station to see where the pollen levels are," said Perrone.

Tree, grass and flower pollen tend to be the worst culprits.

Pollen from orchard grass is causing allergy sufferers grief. (Dale Molnar/CBC News)

Tom Preney, biodiversity coordinator for the Ojibway Nature Centre in Windsor, says orchard grass is causing the most difficulty.

"It produces a lot of pollen right now and it's airborne," said Preney, who has had shots to curb his own allergy to the grass.

Preney says sufferers should see some relief in about two weeks, but then ragweed season will be just around the corner.


Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is a video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print. He has received a number of awards including an RTDNA regional TV news award and a New York Festivals honourable mention.