Allergy season is here ahead of schedule

Allergy season is here ahead of schedule

If you have watery, itchy eyes and have been sneezing a lot, then you can probably blame the trees.

The warm winter has helped kick off our allergy season early this year.

Dr. David Kaufman, an allergist with Breathe America, said tree pollen counts are unusually high for this time of year.

"Due to the warm winter, we have seen much earlier high pollen counts than usual. The tree pollen counts we're seeing now is what we typically see in mid to late march," said Dr. Kaufman. "Oak is becoming the predominant tree pollen that causes the most problems for the most people in our area."

This warm winter is going to impact more than just trees. Dr. Kaufman said we should expect grass pollens to pop up early too.

"Grass is another very common allergen in this area," said Dr. Kaufman. "Usually it peaks in May, but this year we are expecting it to peak in April of this year."

And, this early start to the allergy season could mean a longer one.

Kaufman said "We're expecting a longer pollen season this year than usual, so it's going to start earlier in February and be prolonged much later, maybe into Halloween."

If you're already suffering from allergies, then Doctor Kaufman recommends reviewing your allergy action plan with your physician or allergist.

Many times allergies and the flu can be mistaken for each other because they can cause similar symptoms. However, allergies do not cause a high fever, sore throat, body aches and chills.

Our allergy alert levels are going to stay high through the weekend, but they could take a bit of hit early next week when rain returns.

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