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Suffering seasonal allergies, Boise? Cottonwood is likely culprit

Boise allergy alert: Cottonwood the culprit for miserably high counts

It's not when you see all the fluffy stuff from Cottonwood that it causes allergy sufferers the most trouble, says Dr. G. William Palmer of Boise Valley Asthma and Allergy Clinic.
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It's not when you see all the fluffy stuff from Cottonwood that it causes allergy sufferers the most trouble, says Dr. G. William Palmer of Boise Valley Asthma and Allergy Clinic.

One of the signs of spring in Boise: sniffling, sneezing and sensitive eyes.

Tree pollen is one of the biggest causes of spring allergies for Treasure Valley residents, and cottonwoods top the list of offenders. Cottonwoods grow along the Boise River — one of the iconic trees in the City of Trees.

Pollen counts rise with spring temperatures. They have been unusually high over the past week.

Cottonwoods are primarily to blame for seasonal allergy misery right now, said Dr. G. William “Bill” Palmer of Boise Valley Asthma and Allergy Clinic. Juniper and maple pollens are also high.

Palmer said a common misconception that people have is that they are allergic to cottonwood when the trees’ “cotton” flies during the summer. Those fluff balls are seed pods, which aren’t allergenic. People experiencing allergies in May or June are typically allergic to grass pollen, Palmer said.

Seasonal allergies can leave you with a cough, itchy and runny eyes and stuffed up nose. For many with pollen or grass allergies, spring and summer can be uncomfortable. Mayo Clinic allergist Dr. Nancy Ott says over-the-counter remedies such as an

Some tips from Dr. Palmer for getting through spring allergies:

▪  Avoid the allergen (pollen). Stay indoors. Close windows. Run the air conditioning.

▪  Treat specific systems. Use nasal spray for nose symptoms and eye drops for eye symptoms.

▪  Get allergy shots. Keep in mind that it may take some time to see relief. Don’t expect a quick fix.

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