Answering your allergy questions: Experts say it can change over time

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:29 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - If you think allergies are worse in Roanoke than in other cities, you’re not alone.

Health experts say the environmental effects of where you live can keep the pollen and other allergens around longer.

Dr. Greg Zachmann, an otolaryngologist/ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician and surgeon at Jefferson Surgical Clinic, broke it all down.

He believes moderate climates like Roanoke with a lush environment and lots of wet weather may have pollens or molds most of the year. With all these pollens and mold particles trapped in the atmosphere, folks may experience allergies year-round. This can include mold and fungi, grasses, and dust.

Dr. Zachmann says it’s normal also for allergies to come and go throughout your lifetime.

Health leaders say changes to your environment, like moving to a new house or working in a new building, can sometimes trigger these allergies to go crazy.

“People are starting to talk about that there’s an allergy epidemic occurring in our population since the 1950s or middle of the century. Our lifestyles have changed from more of a rural and outdoors and agricultural lifestyle to more of an urban and indoor lifestyle. And that has actually made their allergies and asthma and food allergies worse,” said Dr. Zachmann.

Zachmann says allergy treatments can give folks some relief from allergy symptoms. He suggests over-the-counter medications.

You can also visit your health care provider to talk about allergy shots or allergy drop therapy (immunotherapy), which can help reduce or prevent the actual allergic response.

To learn more, visit the Jefferson Surgical Clinic website.

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