Your nose knows when it’s spring in Louisville

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:46 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - If you’re trying to combat sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes - a problem that seems to be out of control right now in Greater Louisville - you’re not alone.

If you’re new to the area, you may have had friends telling you by now, Louisville is the allergy capitol of the U.S. Louisville is in the top five annually for worst cities for allergies. And this year, the River City ranked #2 right behind Jackson, Mississippi. Those rankings are based on things like prescriptions needed for allergy medications, the number of allergists based on population and pollen levels.

According to doctors with Family Allergy and Asthma, our beloved Bluegrass gives off more pollen than any other grass type, the transition of seasons brings an overlap of tree and grass pollens, and the Ohio Valley and its bowl shape may capture a lot of that pollen.

“Several things have happened with pollen since the 1990s,” Dr. Wes Sublett, a Family Allergy & Asthma Board Certified Allergist, explained. “We’re actually 20 days earlier than we used to be, plus we set an increase in 20% pollen levels.”

He said that means “we may actually be suffering a little bit more than in years past.”

The practice points out, there are some basic things you can do to feel a little better: Don’t open screen doors for airflow, it brings pollens into your house, keep windows closed, minimize time outdoors when pollen counts are high, keep current on mediations and shots and keep your hands off your face, don’t rub itchy eyes.

“If you need to,” Sublett added, “wear a mask and sunglasses to keep the pollen out of your eyes and out of your nose and mouth.”

If you’re suffering even after trying an over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal spray, it’s probably time to contact a board-certified allergist.

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