Utahns seeks relief from early start to allergy season

DRAPER, Utah – Spring is here and so is allergy season.

With the pollen count rising, it’s been unbearable for a lot of folks.

“At night time, I had a hard time breathing," Craig Bradley said. "My nose was running all the time."

Restless nights led Bradley to Intermountain Allergy and Asthma for some relief.

“I tried over the counter stuff and different things," he said. "Some stuff would work. Some stuff didn't seem to work.”

Thanks to early warm weather, allergy season kicked into high gear early—at the end of January.

“We started doing the pollen count the second week of February, which is earlier than we normally do, and it was already high,” said Dr. Duane Harris, Allergy & Asthma Specialist at Intermountain Allergy and Asthma in Draper.

Harris has been treating patients ever since. Tree pollen allergies are causing the most problems right now.

“Initially, there was a big, big spike of Elm pollen and then things have calmed down a little bit," Harris said.

Many can’t tell if they’re suffering from allergies or a cold.

“If their eyes are very itchy that tends to be more allergies. If it goes on week after week, after week, that's probably allergies,” Harris said.

Your best bet is to get tested, like Bradley did.

“They check your whole back," Bradley said. "Prick you with these things. Found out that trees and grasses and weeds. He walked in and said, 'Oh my goodness: you're allergic to everything.' A lot of stuff and cats.”

Harris recommends over the counter medications such as antihistamines or nasal steroids. But if they aren’t working, you may need stronger prescription medications or an allergy shot.

What about natural remedies? Can honey help?

“I think that's a spouse's tale," Harris said. “Pollen in general is a wonderful thing to eat. I would not do it for allergies.”

If you know allergies are especially bad in the Spring, Dr. Harris recommends taking medicine at least two weeks before the season starts.