Healthcare professionals in the Coastal Bend say they’re treating more patients with allergies this year than in previous years. They add, Hurricane Harvey could be a factor.
Stephanie McMains is a patient at the Medical Arts Clinic in Portland. She stopped in for a check-up and to address the doctor about her allergies. She says until this year, her allergies never bothered her.
"I can’t quit sneezing," McMains said. "Sinus headaches – I’ve never had headaches. I’ve never had allergies period and now it’s getting really, really, really bad."
"It’s daily," McMains added. "I mean there’s not one day that goes by that I can breathe continuously. It’s just constantly there."
Those are the same words many health care professional have heard lately. Dr. James Mobley, the medical director for San Patricio County Department of Public Health says in 2018, he has seen a moderate increase in patients suffering from allergies.
"What we’re seeing basically are runny noses, sinus infections and sinus congestions," Dr. Mobley said. "But it looks like this is a really good year for allergy."
Dr. Mobley says doctors have made the connection between Harvey and allergies. He adds, Harvey dumped a lot of rain, causing a larger number of plants to grow. Now that the spring allergy season is here, those plants are letting off a lot of pollen.
Dr. Mobley also says mold is a factor for allergies. Anyone who exposes themselves to damaged homes or buildings are also exposing themselves to mold particles.
"It’s really multi-factorial," Dr. Mobley said. "Again, lots of things. Increased stress on people, changes in buildings or where they may live, again, increased mold, just all kinds of reasons why you’d have a problem."