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Seasonal allergies could prove more frustrating in 2021

Dr. Gital Patel, a doctor at Premier Allergy and Asthma, says it's important to know your triggers.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Spring is in full bloom, marked by the blossoming trees and flowers around central Ohio.

For some, the warmer temperatures come at the cost of sneezing, sniffling and dry, itchy eyes.

10TV talked with Dr. Gital Patel, a doctor at Premier Allergy and Asthma, about seasonal allergies and how to combat them.

Dr. Patel explained to 10TV that this spring could be worse for allergy sufferers than the previous spring.

“Spring of 2020 was a cold spring and we had COVID going on so there wasn’t a lot of pollution, we were all kind of staying indoors, we had masks on, so spring allergies weren’t terrible,” she said. “But this year in 2021, it’s expected to be a dry and very hot spring and so weather pattern really dictates what pollen is going to do. So this year, I think we’re going to see a lot of that tree pollen, especially this time of year.”

So what can allergy sufferers do?

  • Over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal spray can help
  • Know your triggers

“I think it’s really important to know what your triggers are,” Dr. Patel said. “So, you know, find out if you’re allergic to trees or dust mites or your cat, you know, so once you know what triggers you are allergic to, I think it makes it easier to avoid those things.”

  • Test for new allergies to identify those triggers
  • Rinse off after spending time outside
  • Keep an eye on the pollen county

“If you are spending a lot of time outdoors, I tell patients when they come inside to rinse off. So maybe take a quick shower, get all that pollen off the skin and out of your hair – that can help,” Dr. Patel said. “Avoiding those peak pollen times, watching the pollen count so when you know the pollen count is high you can be a little more aware that you may have more symptoms that day.”

Dr. Patel also notes that people suffering from allergies should watch for other symptoms that could indicate something more extreme, such as COVID-19.

If you experience fever, nausea, or loss of taste and smell, you are encouraged to get tested for the coronavirus.

This graphic compares COVID-19 symptoms to cold and seasonal allergies.