Allergies on the rise in Western Montana

Posted at 3:18 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 18:13:31-04

MISSOULA – A runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing are just some of the symptoms you may experience this allergy season in western Montana.

Paraglider Josh Winstead and his friends have even seen it floating above Missoula.

“We can see lots of pollen floating around on flying around mostly cottonwoods. Thermals like to grab them and take them with the winds aloft. And it’s kind of nice. It shows us which way the winds blowing. It’s useful for finding lift,” said Winstead.

Doctors recommend staying indoors as much as possible to avoid these allergens but there are ways to cope if you want to spend time outdoors.

Dr. Andrew Strizke with Community Physician Group recommends using over the counter medications like Zertec, Claritin, Allegra.

It is normal for both children and the elderly to experience respiratory issues in addition to standard allergy symptoms — especially if they have a pre-existing condition like asthma or COPD.

Because of this, it is important to make sure allergy symptoms aren’t mistaken for something more serious.

“You know that the overlap between symptoms between a viral upper respiratory infection, or your common cold, and seasonal allergies, the difference can be subtle,” said Dr. Stritzke.

“Honestly, if you do have concerns it’s better to come in and be seen by a healthcare professional to be fully evaluated so you can make sure that it’s not something more serious,” he added.

If you are someone who suffers from allergies year round and have trouble finding relief there are options your health care provider can introduce to help you long term such as allergy shots.

For more information schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Reporting by Lauren Heiser for MTN News