Harsh winter could mean bad allergy season too - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Harsh winter could mean bad allergy season too

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

You can see the sights and hear sounds of spring, but it’s probably something that you can’t see that might have your allergies flaring up.

John Kammermeyer, M.D., an allergist at the Iowa City Allergy and Asthma Clinic says this year's brutal winter, mixed with the warmer weather causes another allergy problem: mold.

“Probably we’re dealing with mold spores or fungi spores from the soil, as soon as the ground start thawing out,” said  Dr. Kammermeyer.

He says there is little, if any tree pollen out yet.

Julie Jussop has been dealing with allergies for most of her life and says the mold, mixed with the pollen to come, won’t impact her.

“I was first diagnosed probably around 5 or 6-years old, and that’s when I started getting shots.” Said Jussop.

Jussop gets the maintenance dose of the allergy shot every other week, and it has helped.

While Kammermeyer says he hasn’t yet seen an increase in allergy sufferers this year, he has seen more asthma patients, and many of those individuals suffer from allergies too.

“I’ve had a lot of patients have their asthma flair,” said Kammermeyer. “I’ve seen much more severe asthma problems this winter than average because of the cold subzero air. Allergists like myself deal with asthma which is related genetically and frequently along with allergy.”

Although it is expected to be a fairly harsh allergy season, Kammermeyer says in the next few weeks with the warmer temps, pollen could be packing a stronger-than-usual pollen punch this year.

He recommends when you come from being outside, take your shoes off at the door to lessen the amount of pollen you track into the house.

Dr. Kammermeyer also adds you should immediately take a shower to wash all the pollen from your body and hair, so it won't spread.

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