Spring is in the air in Lincoln, and so is pollen — lots of pollen

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The pollen count in Lincoln is high right now, causing allergies to kick up.

“Right now, we are in full swing for the tree pollen season,” said Dr. Hannah Neuhaus, an allergist and immunologist. “Trees typically pollinate in the springtime, which is what a lot of people are experiencing if they’re sensitized to trees.”

Neuhaus, who works at Allergy Asthma & Immunology Associates, said the change in the weather can cause reactions for many, but those who are allergic to pollen have it especially bad right now.

When trees are pollinating, particles spread in the air and can get in your eyes and nose.

“A lot of patients with allergies have nasal symptoms, so a lot of nasal itching,” Neuhaus said. “You’ll see people rubbing their nose, and you’ll have some sneezing.”

For some, it can also cause swollen and watery eyes.

In early spring, pollen levels are high.

Then in late spring and through summer, grass allergies peak.

The most common allergen in Nebraska is ragweed, which has high levels in late summer.

“The Midwest is definitely a high-allergy area,” Neuhaus said. “With our temperate climate, and since we’re a higher farming area, too, there’s a lot of different people that are affected by that.”

She said it will help lessen symptoms to keep windows shut, change clothes when you come in from outside and shower before bed.

Neuhaus said you can get tested for allergies at your primary care physician.

She said they normally do an allergy skin test to show what plants or medicines are reactive.

But there are other options if your allergies are more severe.

“If they feel like their symptoms are bad enough where they’re starting to feel like they’re less productive at work or at school, just feeling sick and crummy all of the time, they should definitely be evaluated for that,” she said.

Your doctor can prescribe a nasal spray, eye drops and medication if your allergies get too bad to treat with over-the-counter medication.

You can check Lincoln’s latest pollen count on Nebraska Wesleyan University’s website.

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