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Spring allergies starting to flare up

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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RIVERTON, Utah — If Utah's crazy weather doesn't have you sniffling and sneezing, spring allergies could soon be making you miserable. But allergists say there's no reason to suffer through the season, as there are both new and tried-and-true prescriptions for relief.

Dr. Scott Taylor, an allergist at Intermountain Healthcare's Southridge Clinic, is used to checking in with his patients this time of year. On this spring morning, he asks patient Lindsey Kryer how allergy season is treating her, and she says she "can tell it's flaring up."

The brightly-colored flowers, green grass and warm temperatures many welcome during spring and summer months often keep allergy sufferers like Kryger trapped indoors.

"I've always dealt with itchy eyes, the runny nose, the sneezing. I also have allergy-induced asthma," Kryger says.

In fact, at one point, allergies were taking over Kryger's life. Taylor says patients like Kryger have a hard time living their normal lives.

"They're not going outside or doing the things they want to do during the pollen season," he says. "That is when we do recommend testing with a board-certified allergist."

A few pokes and pricks later, Kryger has an answer.

"I found out what I was allergic to, and they made up the serum and started giving me the shots," she says.

Kryger calls the shots phenomenal.

"As allergists, we've been doing allergy shots on people for years, and it has worked very well (for most patients)," Taylor says.

Taylor says allergists also have a new weapon in their arsenal to fight off one of the peskiest foes for allergy-sufferers.

"Just over the last couple of years, we've developed the new grass tablet," Taylor says. "You can take it before the season hits and during the season, and it helps to prevent grass problems."

For patients like Kryger, grass is not the only culprit.

"The downside is it doesn't cover trees in the spring and fall weeds and animals," Taylor says.

That means Kryger will stick with her shots for now and enjoy doing things she used to avoid.

"I can go running now without coming back suffering and having a hard time breathing," she says. "I can brush my dog and camp in an open field."

Even at this tough time of year for allergy sufferers, Kryger says she is doing well.

"I hardly have symptoms anymore," she says. "It's great; it's fantastic."

Taylor says because Utah has had a lot of moisture this year, as soon as temperatures consistently warm up, Utah could see a "significant" grass pollen count. And that could hit a lot of allergy sufferers hard.

Sandra Olney

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