A woman wearing a medical coat sits in front of a large bookcase full of medical texts.
Kathleen May, MD

Springtime sneezes? MCG expert says it’s in your genes

The pine tree dust, flying for weeks, is beginning to wane, but people allergic to other tree pollen won’t see relief for another month. And then it will be time for grass allergies to begin and last into the summer.

Kathleen May, MD, the division chief of Allergy-Immunology and Pediatric Rheumatology in the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, said genetics plays a role in being susceptible to pollen.

“About 80 million people in the country have nasal allergy symptoms. The main reason is genetics. So often when you see people with nasal allergies, the child will have it, their parents will have it, their grandparents will have it, so it’s something that’s passed down through generations,” May said. “But what people are allergic to is not genetically determined. So you have to have the gene for the allergy sensitization, but what you get exposed to is what you become sensitive to.”

The best treatment is allergy shots, she explained, but there are many ways to combat the sneezes of spring. Watch the video below for more from May on spring allergies.

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Written by
Tim Rausch

Tim Rausch is a Communication Strategist in the Dean's Office at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

View all articles
Written by Tim Rausch

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

graphic that says download jag mobile with icon buttons below that say download on app store and download on google play with a picture of a phone