WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – All day long, feet shuffle in and out of the Mid-Kansas Ear Nose & Throat Associates office. It’s allergy season, namely ragweed and pollen. Among the patients present, some are excitedly looking forward to Thursday night when Kansas will experience its first freeze.
“It’s a huge help for me, I’m always excited about the first freeze. It greatly shuts down the sneezing and the nasal dripping and the eye itching and those kinds of things,” Marsha Abbott said.
Abbott says the sight of pollen wafting through the air can be a source of pain for her allergies that she’s suffered from for years.
Another patient, Bob Conard, was suffering from up to six ear infections per year for 70 years of his life before he began getting an allergy injection.
“I would normally be sick right now, I’d be home sick with an ear infection or a sinus infection, I don’t even know there’s an allergy season right now, my quality of life has just improved, amazing,” Conard said.
Both patients are looking forward to the few hours overnight that Kansas will have freezing temperatures as it helps combat allergies and symptoms thereof.
“It just drops the pollen count in the air when things get colder and the ragweed doesn’t release as much of the pollen,” Dr. Ben Hawley, an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor in Wichita said.
Hawley credits ragweed as the worst allergy problem in the midwest during the fall season. Sorrel and pasture grasses also release pollen which can result in runny noses, itchy eyes and dry throats. He says figuring out what you’re allergic to is the best way to combat allergy season.
“Try to avoid it if you can, to be outside on windy days and go to places you know you’re going to be exposed to those types of things. Other people know they’re allergic to stuff inside so as we get into the winter months, things like mold or pet dander or dust mites or things like that are more of a problem for people,” Dr. Hawley said.
Another recommendation? A daily non-drowsy allergy pill and a steroid nasal spray like Flonase or Nasacort can also help.