Allergy season in full-swing in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Spring is in the air, but so is pollen, mold and grass allergens.

Shelly Smith loves to garden and landscape. But she’s spending the morning in her allergist’s office instead.

“I stay indoors a lot. I don’t mow the lawn. I feel kind of like a captive in my own home,” said Smith, a Fishers resident.

When she does go out, she pays for it with symptoms that probably sound familiar if you suffer from allergies.

“Sniffling, a lot of having a hard time breathing, sneezing, wheezing, all of that,” she said.

Dr. Pinkus Goldberg of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology Associates says for most of the estimated 50 million outdoor allergy sufferers, relief might be as close as the nearest drugstore.

“So if let’s say Claritin doesn’t work, you should try Allegra. If Allegra doesn’t work, you should try Zyrtec or Cetirizine, I think you should try them and see how they affect you,” he said.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation ranks Indianapolis as 63rd in its list of the top 100 “Challenging Places to Live with Spring Allergies.”

The rainy weather is helping us live up to the title.

“The rain is good immediately, it washes the air clean. But as soon as it stops raining the pollen comes back and the plants have moisture, so they can produce more pollen, and also the mold comes up and mold is a major allergen in Indiana,” said Goldberg.

He recommends staying indoors on high allergy days, changing clothes and washing hair before bed, and taking medication before going outside.

“If none of this works you need to see your doctor, because if you have seasonal allergies this year they’re just going to come back the following year,” he said.

Dr. Goldberg says non-medical remedies — such as eating local honey — are not reliable. He says medication is your best bet for braving the outdoors this spring.

Be sure to consult your doctor to find out the best route for you.