It may not look like the seasons are starting to change but, if you ask most allergy sufferers, they'll tell you fall is just around the corner. What could make matters worse, living in Bakersfield may mean you could be in for a long, miserable season.
About 35 million people nationwide suffer from some kind of seasonal allergy like dust or pollen. Here in Bakersfield, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America rates the city in the top third of the worst places to live for allergy sufferers.
"I'll get a heavy chest and it gets kinda hard to breathe," said Alexa Kalivas.
"Keep taking off your glasses and wiping your eyes," said Trey Dunham.
"Gets really congested and backed up," said Kelly McMillian.
For allergy sufferers, those are the tell-tale signs the summer is starting to wrap up. For some, those symptoms are already making life miserable.
"Usually when it gets really windy, I get like a stuffy, runny nose and my eyes water really bad," Kalivas said.
"Mostly in the midday, like when people are cutting their grass and stuff, that's the hardest time of the day," Dunham said.
When you combine agriculture with Bakersfield's already notoriously-bad air quality, doctors say allergy symptoms can vary widely.
"They have the itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, watery nose, sinus congestion, sinus headaches, sinus infections. Some people have more of the chest problems like asthma and bronchitis," said allergist Dr. Patrick Leung.
At best, the symptoms are simply an annoyance.
"It's really hard to relax and get comfortable you know, toss and turn," McMillian said.
"Most likely I'm going to toughen up but if it gets too bad, I'll put in a couple eye drops, that's about it," Dunham said,
Doctors say there is a point when your allergies may need some real medical attention. "When you have a situation that the allergy symptoms gets to the point that they actually interfere with the things you are doing, whether you're going to work or school, they interfere with whatever you're doing. That's the time you need to see a doctor," Dr. Leung said.
And with allergy season just kicking off, doctors say whatever your symptoms are, they're likely going to be around for awhile.
"We will have a bad season probably all the way until after Halloween, after all the harvesting activity is over," Dr. Leung said.
There are a few things doctors say you can do to limit your exposure to allergens like avoiding the outdoors during midday and make sure your windows stay shut to keep pollen out.
For more allergy relief tips, click here: http://www.mademan.com/mm/seasonal-allergy-relief-10-tips.html