Spring allergies arrive sooner, will last longer

The flowers and trees are budding earlier because of the mild winter and the spring allergies have arrived too.

Dr. Alvin Sanico, with the Asthma Sinus Allergy program at GBMC says, "The pollen counts have started going up at earlier time points compared to what has been observed in the past decades."  

Pollen counts that typically go up in mid-March have already started to go up in February.

Because of that, Dr. Sanico says you can expect symptoms to last longer and be more severe. "Itchy watery eyes, you can have nasal symptoms as well. Hay fever, you can start having sneezing, running nose, nasal congestion, and post nasal drip."  

If the pain is getting the best of you, Dr. Sanico says allergy shots can offer long term relief.

And getting a skin test to pinpoint what you're allergic to also helps.

Dr. Sanico says, "It doesn't involve needles so it's not going to be painful. The worst thing you can expect from these tests is that it's going to be itchy."  

You should also be mindful of when it's bad to go outside.

Dr. Sanico says, "Pollen counts tend to peak during periods when it's really dry and windy so if you want to jog try to avoid doing so in the middle of the day and at the end of the day after you spend time outdoors, take a good shower, wash away whatever pollen can get stuck on you." 

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