June 21, 2024
Medical professional sees spike in seasonal allergy patients

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – If you have noticed your seasonal allergies being worse this year than before, you are not alone, according to Nicholas Chuck, a physician assistant for Riverside Health System.

Chuck said his patients are getting hit hard by seasonal allergy systems.

Medical professional sees spike in seasonal allergy patients
Nicholas Chuck, PA

“I’ve seen an increase in allergies. I’ve had patients who recently moved here due to the military, and when they get here, it’s like they’ve been hit in the face. And they don’t know what’s going on. They’re like ‘I have serious drainage, I have sinus pressure. I’m constantly coughing. And I just got here,’” said Chuck.

He wasn’t surprised to hear that Virginia Beach and Hampton were ranked as one of the worst cities for grass allergies this summer.

“There’s actually been a couple of factors that come into that. One is that, you know, we are closer to the water, so we have increased rainfall. And that’s one thing that can happen to make allergies worse. And we have warmer weather. We barely had a winter. And because of that trees bloomed earlier, and so there was an increase in pollen and the pollen stays in the air longer because of that warmer weather. And just the change in the atmospheric pressure is playing a role as well,” said Chuck.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Association of America, about one in three U.S. adults, and more than one in four U.S. children, have a seasonal allergy.

“Blurry vision, or blurry vision from pollen in their eye. They’ll have the congestion. They will have a constant cough that can’t go away. They wake up in the morning, they have a cough. They go outside, they have a cough. They’re constantly sneezing. And given the fact that, you know, post COVID, you know, it’s difficult for them to be out in public and not get looked at for having possible infection,” Chuck said.

As far as remedies, he recommends allergy medicine or nasal sprays. He also urges people to check their at-home air filter.

“You have different levels on a scale,” Chuck said. “It’s called the MERV. The higher it is, the more protection you have against certain allergens.”

According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the MERVE stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. It’s used to measure particles sizes that can get through different levels of air filters.

Chuck said the spring is usually the worst time of the year for allergies. He also said the issue can develop over time for people who do not currently deal with allergies.

Chuck urges anyone with allergies to see a medical professional.

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