Ear pain, hoarseness, itchy skin? Doctor answers Google's top trending questions about allergies

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Doctor answers Google's top allergy questions
Ear pain, hoarseness, itchy skin? Doctor answers Google's top trending questions about allergies ahead of allergy season.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Is your nose getting itchy? Maybe a tickle in the throat? Well, you're not alone. According to Google, in the past week allergy was the most searched word in the U.S., more than any other country worldwide, followed by Japan.

And after a wet winter filled with atmospheric rivers in California, this allergy season is looking like it's going to pack a punch.

RELATED: Your pollen allergies are already overwhelming? Here's why

"I think the grass season that is coming quickly here will be pretty brutal. Later in April, May and June I think pollen counts will be relatively unprecedented," said allergist and immunologist Dr. Joshua Jacobs.

Google also saw people searching for symptoms related to allergies with the top question being "does pollen make you tired?" It was the second top trending "does...make you tired" in the past month in the U.S.

So we decided to ask Dr. Jacobs Google's top trending questions about allergies and here's what he had to say:

Can allergies cause hoarseness?

"Absolutely. Post nasal drip, nasal congestion, especially when people lie down at night and they're stuffy, they'll mouth breath and all that dehydration on the upper airway is going to cause some strain on the vocal folds. "

Can allergies cause ear pain?

"If the middle ear can't equalize pressure your ears will feel full, they'll pop and you may even get some fluid inside the ears built up."

Can pollen cause itchy skin?

"For certain people who are very sensitive, actually the pollen going directly on the skin can cause an issue."

Does it help to consume raw local honey?

"The plants that have airborne pollen are very dull looking. They don't have flowers so bees don't visit them. I think it's great you should buy local honey. The expectation for it helping your allergies should be relatively low."

What can help nasal symptoms?

"Hardly a day goes by when I don't have a patient tell me how much better they've been wearing their mask. Now alot are telling me I'm just going to wear this outside during my season because it really does help. Any mask is helpful."

What helps eye symptoms?

"Wearing a good pair of sunglasses is very helpful outside because the eye symptoms are from pollen going directly onto the eyes. Put in an eyedrop before you go out, you'll be much better off. And wear those sunglasses."

California has been hit hard by storm after storm so far this year. The big question now - has the rain had any impact on the state's water levels? Go here for a closer look at where we stand with the drought, snowpack totals and reservoirs.

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