Allergy season gets an early start

Allergy season typically starts in spring but this year this irritating health issue has got an early start, than to February’s spring-like weather.

Despite spring being around a month away, higher than usual temperatures this February are not only making trees to start budding earlier but also luring people to spend more time outdoors. Numerous areas in the United States have reported high pollen counts weeks earlier than usual.

Doctors in areas like Hampton Roads in Newport are already seeing pollen allergy-sufferers suckered in by the higher-than-usual temperatures.

Dr. Ann Zilliox of Allergy & Asthma of Oyster Point in Newport said, “Usually, by the end of February, we're kind of sitting on pins and needles, waiting. (But) yesterday morning the phone started ringing with people complaining about their eyes itching, and that's usually the symptom that says, yep, the trees are starting to pollinate.”

Zilliox added that maple and birch trees are also budding earlier this season, helping to usher in a long sequence of allergy-causing spring pollinators.

According to available official data, more than 67 million Americans suffer from various allergies every day, whether from pollen, dust, mold, food or even pets.


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