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Mississippi Most Challenging Place to Live for Allergy Sufferers

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Jimmy Davis of Pearl says he's feeling miserable.

"Stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing, I'm on my way to the doctor now." said Davis.

Davis suspects his symptoms are related to the green stuff covering everything outdoors.

"Right, green and dusty." said Davis.

That green dust comes from pine trees. Dr. Dexter Winn Walcott, with the Mississippi Asthma and Allergy Clinic, says the pine pollen irritates the eyes not the nose. It's the pollen people breathe in that triggers sneezing, post nasal drip, congestion and an occasional sinus infection. He says, it's Mississippi's climate that puts the state at the top of the list for allergies.

"We have very long pollen seasons because of our temperature and because of our weather. So, our tree pollen seasons are pretty consistent, six to eight weeks. But our grass seasons are exceptionally long. You can actually measure grass pollen in the fall." said Dr. Walcott.

Dr. Walcott says, the pollen count is highest in the morning. He recommends a range of options to treat symptoms.

"We have steroid noise sprays, we have antihistamine nose sprays, we have antihistamines, antihistamines decongestants. We actually have a class of medicine that's an anti-inflammatory medicine that is not a steroid." said Dr. Walcott.

The doctor says the number one treatment is to reduce your exposure to pollen. Don't open car and home windows, wear a mask and goggles when working outside and take the prescribed medicine, even if symptoms subside.