‘It’s hit with a vengeance’: Allergy season hitting asthma sufferers hard


HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A local doctor says this allergy season is taking a toll on people with asthma. 

“It slowed down a bit with the cool weather, and now it’s hit with a vengeance,” said Dr. William Hark with Richmond Allergy and Asthma Specialists. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in Powhatan, Cappy Seay knows what it’s like. 

“I would climb the bedpost or go on the floor because I was looking for air,” said Seay.

She feels a difference this time of year. 

“We take breathing for granted.”

“When it gets really humid, my chest gets tight. When you take a breath and you just don’t feel like you’re getting enough, you just kind of go into a panic,” Seay said. “We take breathing for granted.”

Seay isn’t the only person struggling with asthma and allergies.

Dr. Hark is getting a lot of calls from patients, struggling with allergies. 

“All of a sudden, they go from using their rescue inhaler once every few weeks to several times a week to almost daily,” he said, explaining what people with asthma are dealing with.

He says patients shouldn’t be using their rescue inhaler that much. If they are, they need to come to the doctor to get their control inhaler, or a daily prescription, to help relieve the inflammation caused by their asthma and the added pollen in the air.

Dr. Hark says you can get ahead of the curb, going on the controller medications before the season begins. 

“If you can reduce exposure then you can reduce medications,” he added. 

You can do that by closing your window and turning on the air conditioning. Also, Dr. Hark suggests taking a shower after being outside all day to get the pollen off of your body. 

Even though the rain is washing away pollen this week in RVA, that isn’t going to stop the seasonal sniffles anytime soon.

“With onset of all of this rainy weather, the pollen levels are going to go down, but then you have mold. So there’s always something to get you in Richmond,” Dr. Hark said. 

Stay up to date on the pollen count and weather with the StormTracker8 Mobile App. 

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