(WSYR-TV) — It’s white, fluffy and it’s blowing in the air and piling up on the ground. Since it’s June in Central New York – it’s finally not snow, but cotton weed from the cottonwood tree. Some are wondering if it’s triggering their allergies.
“By the time you see that the pollen is gone,” said Dr. Michael Sheehan who is a board certified specialist in allergy and clinical immunology at Allergy-Asthma-Rheumatology Associates in East Syracuse. “The tree would have released the pollen before it releases the seed. That’s a seed, but it’s an epiphenomenon. It correlates with the presence of pollen. This is the grass pollen season now.”
While cottonweed may not be to blame, Dr. Michael Sheehan said he’s treating people now for a number of things.
“A lot of nasal allergy, allergic conjunctivitis, asthma, sinus problems. I’ve had several patients come in and tell me they felt worse this year than they did last year,” Dr. Sheehan said.
So what can you do to get relief?
“People come in, ‘I think I’m allergic.’ We do skin testing or serology and define what the problem is,” Sheehan added, “Then based on that, we see what level of treatment addresses the problem adequately. Is it medicine and avoidance measures. Some people do very well with that.”
If those don’t work a patient may need allergy shots. Dr. Sheehan said you would only need to see a specialist like him after speaking with your doctor and your allergies are out of control. He said if you’re able to control your allergy symptoms with over the counter medication, stick with what’s working for you.
Grass pollen season goes through July. Then it’s ragweed through the first frost and after that indoor allergens can cause some problems.