Doctors say pollen can bring on sinus infections, respiratory issues and more

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - With the weather bringing extremely high pollen levels to our area, doctors say reactions to powder can bring on sinus infections, respiratory issues, and more.

"You might say it's just pollen, it can't cause that. No, there are times where a simple pollen allergy can give you an anaphylactic reaction, where your lips are swelling, your throat's swelling, you're wheezing, you can't get a deep breath. You're getting cramps in your stomach, you're vomiting you have diarrhea," Dr. Dennis Rhoades said. The regional director for Doctors Care says if all of these symptoms come together at the same time, you're no longer just having an allergic reaction to pollen.

The pollen is gathering anywhere it can settle.

"Washing it off is definitely an option, but it's not just on our cars, it's on the siding, it's on our shoes," Rhoades said.

Dr. Rhoades' advice is avoidance. In other words: trying not to go outdoors, shutting the sliders, and windows, turning on the air conditioning, and changing filters in AC units more often.

Dr. Rhoades says those with cardiac and lung issues should be extra cautious, and allergies affect those who have had the most exposure.

"That's why some people say well I've never had allergies my whole life, here I am at 50-years-old and I have them now, well it was the repeated exposure that finally caught up with you," Dr. Rhoades explained. That is why Dr. Rhoades says commonly babies and younger children will not have bad allergies unless they have a lung condition, asthma or the child is just getting over a sickness.

Dr. Rhoades says people are not the only ones affected though.

"Your pets are just as at risk as you are... so if you're noticing your pet has watery eyes, or a little bit of a cough, they are having some allergies as well," Dr. Rhoades said.

Dr. Rhoades said those with heart or lung issues should not take over-the-counter medications without asking their doctor, and if you're having any symptoms that aren't seeming to go away or let up, it's best to see a doctor sooner rather than later.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.