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Cold vs allergies, seasonal sickness could be allergens - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Cold vs allergies, seasonal sickness could be allergens

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

Lots of people are sneezing and wheezing these days. Can their ailments be blamed on allergies or just the beginning of cold and flu season.

Dr. Peter Boggs is an allergy specialist with Breathe America in Shreveport. He's been working with patients suffering with allergic reactions to our pollen filled air for years. His day begins logically enough with determining the pollen count. He gets his information from a machine on top of the Willis-Knighton Pierremont parking garage. This device takes pollen samples by spinning a slide off and on in the open air over a 24 hour period.

Dr. Boggs removes the slide, applies a few drops of colored dye and checks out what was captured under a microscope. From here, he counts the pollen grains and mold spores, applies a formula and comes up with the pollen count that we show weeknights on KTBS 3, KPXJ CW 21 and on ktbs.com.

Just a few weeks ago, the slide would have showed lots of ragweed pollen but the day Joe Haynes visited, the slide was virtually clear. Dr. Boggs says that our pollen season is over for now.

"We had some a little while back, a few days ago from the winds that were coming in from Texas. We had some juniper pollen in the air but now it's gone and there's really nothing in the air right now" says Dr. Boggs.

Starting next January, our pollen season comes back. The chart shows trees beginning right after New Year's Day and carrying on into the spring. Then, grass follows and lasts through early summer. Finally, weeds peak in the fall. Mold, unfortunately, hangs around all year especially during summer.

Well, with no pollen around at this time of year, what's making everyone sneeze and wheeze?

"If' it's allergens, it's indoor allergens. It's the dust mites, the molds, the dogs and cats, that kind of thing. Probably what's making most people sick now is upper respiratory infections. It's not the pollens in the air; they're gone" says Dr. Boggs.

So, if you're feeling a little under the weather lately, make an appointment with your doctor so that you can get well for the holidays.

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