By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) – Spring is in the air and so is a lot of other… stuff. While many would like to be outside enjoying the sunshine and admiring what’s in bloom, not everyone can because of awful allergies.

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“Everybody’s been talking about it,” said Julie Eckert, as she towed her toddler in a wagon at City Park. “Definitely something’s in the air. Itchy eyes, itchy throat.”

It’s been a tough start to the season for allergy sufferers. Even those who aren’t typically so itchy, sneezy, drippy this time of year.

“My daughter’s been having itchy eyes for the first time,” Eckert said.

A rough go with allergies is something Dr. Flavia Hoyte, an allergist-immunologist at National Jewish Health, has heard quite a bit lately.

“We’ve seen several patients, even this morning, that have complained that this seems like the worst allergy season yet,” she told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

Dr. Hoyte cannot say for certain if this is indeed the worst allergy season ever, but it’s definitely been extra dry and windy. That’s a brutal combination for allergies.

“Windy, dry days are the worst for pollen,” Dr. Hoyte explained. “Trees are wind-pollinated, so the more wind you have the farther the pollen goes.”

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Plus, what’s not in the air is making matters worse.

“You don’t have the rain to dampen that pollen [to] give people breaks,” said Dr. Hoyte.

On top of the abnormally dry April we’re in, it is still the season for colds and flu as well as that virus we’ve all been talking about for the last two years – COVID-19.

“We’ve had plenty of surprises where people are pretty sure it’s allergies,” she said. “They get tested and sure enough it’s a positive.”

So, until Mother Nature wants to give us some April showers, we’ll likely keep sneezing around new May flowers…and whatever the wind blows in.

“Without any rain you just aren’t getting any breaks,” Dr. Hoyte said.

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Dr. Hoyte’s advice is if you know you have springtime allergies, keep taking your medications as prescribed. If you don’t typically deal with allergies but are dealing with symptoms brought on by the irritants in the air, there are over-the-counter meds and nasal sprays that may provide relief. That said, Dr. Hoyte warns there are many different kinds of sprays, and some make actually make your symptoms worse. She said don’t be afraid to call your doctor to find out what’s best for you.


Kelly Werthmann