by Austin Arvay, Discover Weyburn.com
It’s that time of year again where some are constantly sneezing, blowing their nose and dealing with itchy eyes. If that happens to be you, you may not be alone.
Although the true allergy season isn’t until later on in the spring, snow mold is one thing that can irritate a lot of folks. It typically becomes airborne once the snow melts and the fungus is released into the environment.
“It’s called snow mold because it’s not necessarily from the snow, but it’s about mold that had fallen on the ground just before winter hit. Deep snow kept it in its frozen state. With the warmer temperatures, it provides a good environment for the mold to grow,” Medical Health Officer Dr. Lanre Medu explained.
It also kills grass this time of year and you may notice those dead patches as the snow disappears. However, aside from that, it can be a real pain for people having to deal with the side effects.
“Once they [mold] disperse, it’s pretty much like the mold that you have in homes. Once it gets dispersed, people who are prone to having allergies they would typically be affected,” Dr. Medu noted. “Things such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, those are some of the things that follow when exposed to snow mold.”
For those dealing with the aforementioned symptoms, it seems the allergy pre-season can last a lifetime. Dr. Medu said the mold may last a little while longer, but some April showers would help things out.
“A good spring rain is usually required to wash this all off. So, it may be around for a little bit, but once the rains come that should be gone,” he said.
People can treat their symptoms with basic antihistamines and eye drops.
Melting Snows Stirs Up Allergies
We’re finally losing that snow pack. Mold has grown underneath it, damaging the grass, and irritating those with allergies.
There are two types, pink mold and gray mold. Pink mold is more severe, and gray mold is more common. It looks like a cobweb over the grass. The mold feeds off of moisture, so the easiest way to get rid of it is to break it up with a rake so that it dries better in the sunlight. If you’re sensitive to allergies, this could be responsible for your early season symptoms.
Some fight off the fresh mold with medication. Wendy Pedersen suffers from allergies, and she said, “taking that daily allergy pill has really helped me. I used to not take it and I’d get headaches and sniffles, so that’s really helped.”
Pollen Producers Waking Up
With most of our pollen producers just waking up from their winter slumber, the itchy eyes and sneezes are just beginning. Rollie Glimsdale, another allergy sufferer, said, “we’ll get the tree pollen, and the grass pollen will come after that, and then weeds, and we’ll react.”
Glimsdale spent a long weekend in Duluth with Melanie Ebert. They welcome the warmer weather and all of the allergies that come with it. “Whatever we have to go through for a transition, we’ll pay the price. We just want summer back,” Ebert said.