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Mar 29, 2010 7:00 PM by Kate Mundy

Acadiana Gets a Yellow Dusting, It's Allergy Time


It's that time of year when black cars turn yellow. "It seems like I just washed it and then the next day it was full of yellow stuff again," said Jason Leblanc as he walked through River Ranch shops on Monday. "You just wipe it off and have a golden finger," said Lafayette resident Tania Hanisee.

Monday's pollen count was "high." "My eyes watering, my nose getting really stuffy, so just all the allergies starting up," said Ali Fontenot. Allergists say oak trees and grass are to blame, but you don't have to suffer.

Experts over at the Allergy and Asthma Center in Lafayette, use a Rotorod to determine what's in the air. The pollen they gather is then identified under a microscope. "We tend to have an area where there are a lot of oak trees, it doesn't matter if it's water, live or red oak, we just have oak trees and it's oak that's out right now," said certified pollen counter Michon Bourque.

Mix the tree pollen with grass pollen and it's a recipe for sneezing and wheezing. "It was cold for so long the tree pollen season and grass pollen season are kinda coinciding so you have an explosive tree pollen right now because its finally warmed up," said Bernie Fruge, Jr. M.D.

Dr. Fruge recommends keeping your windows closed and the AC running. If you can't stay indoors, experts recommend avoiding the outdoors in the afternoons when the winds kick up. "If they're exercising outdoors try to do it more in the morning, instead of the evening, because the dew tends to hold the pollen down a little bit," said Fruge.

And if you're like most people and you just can't resist these gorgeous days, try an over the counter remedy. Fruge suggests antihistamine eye drops like Cromolyn or non-drowsy drugs like Alavert or Claritin for the daytime. Benadryl is more powerful for use at night.

You can also get instant relief by taking a shower after being outside, to wash off the pollen.

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