Allergist says misery caused by peak of weed pollen, cotton harvest season

Surviving ginning season with allergies

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For South Plains allergy sufferers, there are three reasons you are feeling miserable this month, according to Asthma & Allergy Associates.

Dr. Robert Mamlok tells KCBD this is the peak of weed pollen season, time for cotton stripping and ginning and the time for abrupt weather changes, all contributing an an increased amount of patients.

“It can affect quality of life for people and make you wish some days that you were in other places,” Mamlok said. “The things we recommend doing are multiple. We’re a big proponent of using a nasal irrigation with saltwater. Talk about something being cost effective, just kind of like brushing teeth, clearing out that nose with a little saltwater: it works. We hate messing with our nose as a society but if you can win that hump of the first three days, that’s an example of an over-the-counter trick that’s perfect to do prior to the nose sprays that are available both over the counter and by prescription.”

In addition to the nasal irrigation and steroid sprays, Mamlok recommends taking antihistamines.

“That combination of the three or more things seems to help most people and is worthy to discuss with your healthcare provider,” Mamlok said.

If these remedies don’t help, it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider.

“Try to make sure we have a good diagnosis,” Mamlok said. “Is this an infection? Is this an allergy? Is this chronic sinusitis? [The questions] would be an example of three common things that are sometimes not that easy to distinguish.”

The increase in suffering is mostly caused by the weed pollens and increase of air particles coming from cotton gins and the stripping process.

“It’s just the sheer bulk of particulate matter during peek pollenosis that really bothers a lot of people, then you just add to that the irritant effect of the large amount of particulate matter, particularly people living northeast of cotton gins,” Mamlok said. “That’s a potential source of aggravation and irritation that’s dose dependent.”

Common sense also prevails in these instances, according to Mamlok. He suggests avoiding outdoor activities as much as possible if you are suffering from these allergies.

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