There’s new evidence that drivers with allergies can actually be impaired.
A new study from the Netherlands shows that drivers with allergy symptoms are comparable to drivers with a .03 percent blood-alcohol level.
The study focused on people with tree and grass pollen allergies. Participants drove 60 minutes with a camera recording them to see how often they veered to the center lane.
This technique, called standard deviation of lateral position, is used to assess drunken driving.
“It’s very disturbing because what it basically shows is that patients who have symptoms of allergic rhintis are impaired,” Dr. Stanley Fineman said.
Fineman, who works with the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, said the impairment makes sense because patients complain of feeling tired and not feeling right.
The body releases histamine and other chemical mediators can make you feel run down.
Fineman advises people to find out what they are allergic to and get a treatment plan.
Twice a week, Deb Ford gets allergy shots. She said she is not surprised by the results.
“You just don't feel good. Your eyes are watering, your nose is running. A lot of times you get really sick with it, so I can understand that,” Ford said.