Warm Weather Means An Early Start To Allergy Season
If you suffer from allergies, this news is hardly a shock. I never had any allergies until I got older, but last week my symptoms began. Hopefully that means they will be over earlier this year too, right?
A mild winter that ended with a flourish of warm weather was a welcome surprise for many Americans. But for the 25 to 35 percent of people who suffer from hay fever, the early arrival of warm weather meant an unusually early start to allergy season.
In some parts of the country, allergists say they have been seeing a rush of patients as far back as February experiencing sneezing, sniffling and stuffed sinuses brought on by a weak winter and unexpectedly balmy weather. Trees release their pollen as the weather turns warm, and in parts of the country where spring seemed to arrive a month or two early, so, too, did high pollen counts.
“Whenever you see a mild winter, it should be a warning to people with allergies that there may be an early start to the allergy season,” said Dr. Michael Marcus, the director of allergy services at Maimonides Medical Center in New York. “But not everybody was attuned to that shift in weather, and so some people were caught unawares.”
Pollen counts are already in the moderate range in many parts of the country, even though official recording of the levels does not start until the beginning of April.