Pollen levels skyrocketing; Experts say not treating allergies can cause chronic illnesses
It's in the air, in your lungs, and all over your cars. According to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control, pollen levels in the area were about 25 times higher than what's already considered extremely heavy for spring.
Charles Newby says he washes the pollen off of his van at least once a week.
"Every morning, its a constant struggle," he said. "Nose bleeds, the baby is dealing with it, wife is dealing with it." He says he's taking medication to treat the allergies. Some people we spoke to Wednesday night told NewsChannel 9 what happens if they don't.
"If i don't take anything, I'll be miserable," said Daniel Cole. He's visiting the Scenic City from Atlanta. "Real tired, lethargic, runny nose, throat, coughing, itchy scratchy, just not feeling good at all."
But when pollen levels are skyrocketing, going without medicine, can lead to long term health issues.
According to experts with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergies wear down your immune system to the point where you can develop extreme conditions, like sleep apnea, chronic headaches, or mood disorders.
They say it can also mess with your concentration; affecting school or work performance as well.
"Even if I'm at work and I don't have medicine, I have to leave work to go get medicine," said
Some say it wasn't difficult to go without medicine in years past, but days like Wednesday, the pollen is all over, make it almost impossible to bear.
"It was mild for a couple of years," said Newby. "For the last 10 years, every year, it just pushes you to the extreme."
Experts say if you know you're prone to bad allergies during the spring, consider taking medicine about two week before the season starts.