The district manager of the Splash -N- Dash car wash, 301 SSW Loop 323, said Tuesday the increase has been noticeable.
“Even though it was cloudy on Monday, there was still more traffic than usual,” Basaldua said.
“I was there (at the car wash) Monday, and most people were complaining about the pollen,” he said.
When the pollen starts coming, people wash their cars more, and they come back often, he said.
Businesses that profit from keeping cars and windows clean and allergy sufferers comfortable when the pesky pollens make their appearance each spring often see an uptick in business, several Tyler allergists and owners of window cleaning and car wash services in Tyler, said Tuesday.
Others, such as dog groomers and veterinarians, pool cleaners and lawn services, say they don’t see much of a business increase just yet, but will see more pollen-related business traffic as the season goes continues.
Dr. Jack Harris, an allergist who has been in practice with Allergy Clinic in Tyler for 27 years, said spring is the clinic’s busiest season, with the arrival of tree and grass pollens.
“We really see an increase in the number of patients come in, beginning in March and usually ending about May,” he said. Often, people will call, wanting to be seen at the last minute, he said.
Harris said his patients’ tree, grass and weed allergies “are often severe enough for them to seek medical attention.” Many patients already have tried over-the-counter medications or some prescription medications from their family providers by the time they seek help from an allergist, Harris said. Some patients choose to go through the skin tests to see what allergies they have and decide on regular injections as a treatment, Harris said.
Half of that cost can be attributed to prescription medications and medical care, and the other half can be attributed to lost work days and lower productivity because of allergies, according to the academy.
Animals are not immune from allergy symptoms either, although Dr. Jesse Jones of the in-house veterinary clinic at Green Acres Pet Grooming on Troup Highway said he has not seen a notable increase in pet visits this year for allergies. Jones said he normally sees between 30 and 40 pets per day in the clinic, and that number has not changed.
“Some pets sneeze a little, but most pets walk off pollens on the fur with movement,” he said. Jones said the pollen is not sticky and that he often treats animals with antihistamines, eye drops and cortisone to keep them comfortable. He recommends Benadryl for allergies, although he said it has a “sedating” effect on a pet.
Although pollen season might be tough on the people and animals suffering, there is another Tyler business that benefits — window washers. Kim Chapman, who co-owns Fish Window Cleaning with her husband Derrell Chapman, said their business really picks up in the spring.
“Spring is the time of year for outdoor parties and events, and people want their windows clean,” Ms. Chapman said. Business picks up even more once pollen season ends, she said.
Bruce Craft, who works in the service department for East Texas Pool Service, said he has not seen much of an increase this year compared to previous years.
“But we will get a run of calls when more of the pools open up when the weather gets warmer,” Craft said. He added that most people keep a cover over their pool in the winter and don’t notice the pollen until after they take the cover off.
James Wilhite, owner of Wilhite Landscaping and Lawn Care, said he does not see a bump in business directly related to pollen season, other than “people wanting to plant more flowers because it is spring,” he said. Wilhite added that his staff will usually hose down a patio during pollen season rather than blow it clean.