2013 Allergy Season Predictions for Southern Idaho


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The 2013 allergy season could be worse than years past.

That's because the winter across most of the nation was warmer than usual.

So, we checked in with local experts to see how the southern Idaho season is shaping up.

It's that time of year again…allergy season.

That's why two–year old Kellan is at Allergy and Asthma of Idaho getting a skin test.

"We came in because Kellan is constantly sick. We had his tonsils and adenoids out and tubes put in at the end of January, and we're still having problems. Runny nose, cough, rubbing his nose. Just kind of your typical allergy symptoms," said Brianne Schilz, testing her son for allergies.

Symptoms are similar to a common cold, but there's one major difference.

"If you have a runny nose and don't have a lot of itching it probably isn't pollen season that's bothering you," said Dr. Greg Wickern, Allergist, Allergy and Asthma of Idaho.

Experts have predicted this allergy season will start earlier and last longer in most parts of the country.

That's because of the unusually warm winter.

"We had a relatively cold winter this year and so I'm not sure that we're going to see necessarily the burst that many parts of the country are predicting," said Dr. Wickern.

This time of year it's the tree pollen that's responsible for most of the seasonal allergies; however, that won't be the case for long.

"We have seen lots of Elm and Ash levels already this year. Grasses follow in May, June and July," said Dr. Wickern.

Dr. Wickern believes a rise in carbon dioxide levels and temperatures worldwide are to blame for the worsening allergy seasons.
"We're seeing longer seasons, higher pollen levels and more potent pollen," said Dr. Wickern.

A recent study shows climate change will cause pollen counts to double by 2040.

But, it looks like pollen count won't be something little Kellan has to worry about.

"He's allergic to cats and dogs," said Schilz.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five Americans suffer from asthma or allergies.

There is no cure, but the symptoms can be managed with a variety of medications.

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