RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – While the calendar may still say its winter, record warm February temperatures have brought a return of itchy eyes and runny noses for springtime allergy sufferers.
Dr. Vaishali Mankad of Allergy Partners of Raleigh says allergy season has started and trees across the area have begun pollinating.
People across central North Carolina are beginning to feel the effects of the increased pollen.
“The number of people that have started to become symptomatic has increased. We are seeing people calling in and complaining about significantly itchy eyes, itchy nose, runny nose, sneezing,” she said.
Although it may seem like allergy season is beginning much earlier this year – tree pollens can start as early as mid-February.
Cold temperatures and wintry precipitation that sometimes occur in late February can shorten tree pollen season, but Mankad says the seemingly early start to tree pollen season this year is not out of the ordinary.
Warm, dry and windy days tend to be the worst for seasonal allergy sufferers and with more warm weather on the way as we end the month of February, experts recommend getting a jump-start on your allergy treatment now.
Millions of people worldwide are affected by seasonal allergies.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology recommends seeking treatment from allergist to help manage your seasonal allergy symptoms and develop a treatment plan.
There are also steps you can take to limit your exposure to the pollen causing your symptoms like staying indoors when pollen counts get high and using the air conditioning instead of opening the windows of your home.
The North Carolina Division of Air Quality releases local pollen counts daily so allergy sufferers can keep track of the primary pollens in the air.
Local pollen reports and pollen trends can be found here.