Allergies are at a peak right now and the recent wet weather isn't helping. But how do you know if you have a seasonal allergy?
Melissa Patrick, Andrew's mom, says "He was really young when he started. He was about a year old when he started having asthma attacks. He was on the nebulizer and it just didn't end. When he got to school it was worse."
But what Andrew Patrick of Greece really had was a seasonal allergy. "Molds and trees and basically mold spores."
Right now in Rochester, there's an overlap of allergens - tree pollen and mold spores.
Dr. Eduardo Arreaza, an allergist at Rochester General Hospital says, "First we go through the tree pollens and then the grass pollen season, although the grass pollen has started to come down, but this year we've had the added element of a lot of rain and humidity, and that has worsened the mold exposure."
Mold is tough. You can find it in your home but outside, it's trickier. Mold grows in dirt, in leaves, and on trees. The symptoms of an allergy can be similar to a cold: stuffy nose, sinus pressure, nasal drip, runny nose, watery eyes, but the difference from a cold is that the symptoms last for more than 2 weeks. Arreaza says, "especially if you don't have those flu-like symptoms like fever and body aches."
The best recommendation: get tested by an allergist. There are two ways to treat them: get rid of home allergens and/or get medication.
Arreaza says, "Inhaled nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants and for some patients you have immunotherapy or allergy shots which work like vaccinations."
There are literally hundreds of different mold spores. New ones crop up every season. The best way to get tested for your allergies is through a skin test.