ENVIRONMENT

A wet winter may bring severe allergy season

May 8, 2023, 8:25 AM | Updated: May 9, 2023, 5:46 am

Allergy season has arrived and the excess moisture has contributed to higher pollen and mold.



Wa...

Allergy season has arrived and the excess moisture has contributed to higher pollen and mold. Ways to keep your asthma and allergies in check Ines Bazdar depositphotos

SALT LAKE CITY — Allergy season has begun and all the moisture Utah received will likely make it worse for those with allergies. Sneezing, sniffling, and runny noses are becoming more common as trees start to blossom and allergies set in. 

Dr. Tara Sarin, a physician at Allergy Associates of Utah, said right now there are a lot of tree pollens and some mold pollens in the air.  

“The highest ones right now are most likely going to be your maples, your birch, and your ashes,” said Sarin.

Tree pollen is common for spring in Utah. But all the moisture we’ve received has also brought mold.

“Usually we see mold more in the fall,” explains Sarin. “But with the moisture we’ve had with the high snowpack levels this year, we are seeing a little bit more mold than we would have expected.”

This mold usually appears in the fall once temperatures cool down and plans start to decompose. However, mold allergies aren’t as common in Utah because of its desert climate. 

“Spring generally is more commonly trees,” she said. “Although, this is a little bit of an unusual year in that because of all the moisture we’ve had an increase in mold.”

And it’s not just for the spring — all the water we’ve had will keep allergy season bad for a while.

“It does look like this year is going to be high pollen, bad allergy season just because we’ve had so much moisture,” Sarin said. “It’s likely that things will continue to pollinate and we will have high pollen counts for spring, summer and fall.”

Sarin says summer will bring more grass pollens and the fall will bring weed pollens. 

What to do to mitigate allergy symptoms

Sarin suggested a few steps one can take to help mitigate allergy symptoms.

  1. Shower and change clothes after being outside to remove pollens from your body and clothes.
  2. Change your home air filters.
  3. Close doors and windows to prevent pollen from getting inside.
  4. Wear a mask if mowing the lawn or raking leaves.
  5. Get a HEPA filter if possible.
  6. Take allergy medications and/or get allergy shots depending on how severe symptoms are.

Sarin says allergies don’t have to prevent you from enjoying the warmer weather.

“Please make sure you stay outside and have a great time this spring, summer and fall,” Sarin said. “There are always many options to treat allergies.”

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A wet winter may bring severe allergy season