Pollen Problematic for Allergy Sufferers

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By Monique Williams

Forest Acres, S.C. (WOLO) -- Two different surveys recently list Columbia in the top ten cities in the country with the highest pollen count. But, you don't have to tell that to Jill Armbruster, a long-time seasonal allergy sufferer.

"It's bad, sneezing, congestion, cough, watery eyes," Armbuster laments. "It's hard to have a productive day when suffering from allergies. You're tired, out of it and the medicine you have to take on top of that can make you more disoriented."

President and chief medical officer with Doctors Care, Dr. Tommy Gibbons, says over the counter antihistamines and decongestants help; however, but to be sure if you're experiencing an allergic reaction, get tested.

"A lot of people, bout 25%, think they're allergic to something but they're not and then they spend all this money," said Gibbons. "If you have symptoms impacting your life, get tested."

Another way to minimize the effects of tree pollen--oak, willow and birch to be exact-- during the spring and grass pollen during the summer, he says, keep windows closed, change your indoor filters, and if you've been outside, get cleaned up right away.

"Let's say you are outdoors, take a shower as soon as you get home so you're not taking it inside."

Also, he says an allergy can lead to a bacterial infection if left untreated. So, it's important to be proactive.

It's good advice Jill Armbruster believes is what the doctor ordered.

Dr. Gibbons says the hours of 10am-4pm are the worst times to be outdoors because that's when the pollen count is highest. He adds, whenever possible, stay indoors.

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