MOLD spore count rise is trouble for allergy sufferers

Thursday, May 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Coughing, sneezing and wheezing everywhere as the Tulsa area's mold spore count rises. It's a rough time of year for allergy sufferers, who say their troubles have started a little earlier this season.

KOTV's Glenda Silvey says it's a lovely time of year, when most of us prefer to be outdoors. But the warm winds of spring fill the air with thousands of tiny mold spores, and many are allergic to them. Sufferers say it's been especially rough in recent days. Allergy sufferer, Barbara Robertson, "The way the summer started, it's supposed to be spring, but to us, it's summer. It's already unbearably hot and the mold spore count is getting higher the hotter it gets." Dr Jane Purser at Allergy Clinic of Tulsa says, "It could be worse. I mean I hate to say that, because there are some people who really feel uncomfortable now."

Dr Purser says Tulsa has many features that contribute to allergy problems. "With all of our lakes and all of the trees and a lot of agriculture, I mean there are a great number of fields you can get to within ten minutes of our city. Those develop certain molds that are different than what's inside your refrigerator." Dr Purser says the present mold count of between 15 and 20 thousand is bringing in more patients, but it could go as high as 50-thousand. Other contributing factors are humidity, new plant growth and wind. "This time of year generally brings in a lot of storms, so the wind kicks up more of the mold, but the humidity and the heat is like an incubator." What's the remedy? "A dry frost!" And that will be awhile. In the meantime, Dr Purser says, see your doctor for help.

Dr Purser offers this advice if you're mold sensitive. Use preventive remedies such as nasal sprays, eye drops and allergy medication. Spend less time outdoors, especially in late afternoon and early evening. If you do venture outside, wash your face, eyes and hair before going to bed. And wear a protective mask for mowing and gardening.