Aaaaaachoooo! It’s sneeze season | SummitDaily.com
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Aaaaaachoooo! It’s sneeze season

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
Summit Daily/Reid Williams It's pollen season, or time for irritated eyes and runny noses.
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SUMMIT COUNTY – You can see the yellowish-green film of pine pollen on your car, but can you blame it for your runny or stuffed-up nose?”When I’m walking through the woods, my boots are covered, my clothes are yellow, and I can literally see the pine pollen as a cloud moving across the treetops,” said Bob Currie, forester at Holy Cross Ranger District in Minturn. “It stuffs me up, gives me a sore throat and makes me feel like crud.”But according to allergist Dr. William Silvers, pine pollen is hypoallergenic.

“While the pine pollen is floating around and people can see it, it’s really microscopic grass pollen that causes the problems,” Silvers said. “The truth is, even a high pine pollen count does not cause symptoms. Cedar and aspen pollen can cause big-time allergies, but those end in mid-May.”However, some health care professionals disagree with Silvers.”Put a handful of pine pollen up (someone’s) nose, and they’re going to sneeze,” said Dr. (PJ) Perrinjaquet from High Country Health Care in Breckenridge.But whether or not pine pollen is the true culprit, plenty of other allergens cause the notorious symptoms.

“For patients that are allergic, the presence of even a small amount of grass pollen can cause a lot of symptoms including sneezing, a stuffy, runny nose and itchy eyes,” Silvers said.Grasses are at a moderate level and are peaking a little late this year, near the end of July, Silvers said. According to Dede Weldon, an emergency medical technician at Dillon’s High Country Health Care, a lot of patients are complaining of worse-than-normal allergies.Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic disease in the United States. They have a strong genetic component. A weakened immune system appears to be the cause of many allergies, when the body overresponds in an imbalanced manner to outside influences it would normally tolerate, said Frisco naturopath Justin Pollack.”The treatment for allergies is very effective with very few side effects,” said Dr. R. Casey Strahan at the Vail Valley Ear, Nose & Throat Group in Frisco. “There’s a lot we can do, so there’s no reason to suffer. (Newer prescription drugs) are much more effective with fewer side effects than over-the-counter medications. We can also customize the prescription to the individual.”

Pollack suggests a liver cleanse, balancing candida in the body and using herbal, nutritional and physical approaches.Strahan suggests seeing a physician if symptoms occur more than twice a week.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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