(WWJ) Allergies have been flooding local doctors’ offices with patients this month. Henry Ford Medical Group’s Dr. Christian Nageotte says patient numbers are up 30 percent this time of year.

The problem? It’s mostly mold brought on by days of rain, and the pollen in trees. Nageotte says sometimes what you eat can play a role as well.

“Some of the proteins in the fruits that we eat cross-react with the pollens found in some trees,” Nageotte said. “For example, apple can cross-react with birch trees and those patients sensitized to birth tree pollens will develop itchy throats and mouth when they eat a fresh,  uncooked apple. They won’t have the same symptoms if they eat apple pie, however.”

Nageotte says sufferers can fight the congestion with the nasal sprays that used to be prescription and are now over-the-counter.

Washing clothing off and your face whenever you come inside can help too, he said. Keeping the windows closed and running the air conditioner as a filter can also help so “you don’t have so much exposure,” he said.

Now here’s the good news: The symptoms should lighten up in May when pollen counts decrease.

“This is our busy time,” Nageotte said. “As the trees put out their pollen, it blows in the wind (and causes) sneezing, congestion, runny nose.”

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