Warmer winter causing early spring allergies

Warmer winter causing early spring allergies

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Sneezing and sniffling are common signs that indicate spring has arrived, right alongside your allergies.

This year, with unseasonably warm temperatures, allergists are seeing those symptoms much earlier than usual.

"Right now we're on pace for the second warmest February on record ever in the Charleston area, which explains why you're starting to see a lot of trees budding early," Live5 meteorologist Joey Sovine said.

Dr. Meredith Moore, a local allergist at Charleston Allergy & Asthma, said trees specifically are causing spring allergy symptoms to show up earlier than expected.

"The trees that we've been seeing in our pollen count are cedar, we've been seeing some birch, bayberry and then pretty soon we're going to start seeing the oak count,s which is what really affects a lot of allergy sufferers here in Charleston," Moore said.

"We don't have any rain in the forecast anytime soon so there's nothing to flush it out so what we're going to do is continue to build up that pollen," Sovine said. "Each morning when you go out to your car, you're going to continue to see more and more yellow on it. Typically, we would see that mid to late March, early April but it's not even March first."

Gardens and flower pots are not typically what causes these symptoms.

"Pollen producers are not typically the plants that have the big showy flowers, those plants are actually pollinated by insects," Moore explained. "But when those flowers start coming out, it does signal that the other plants that do produce airborne pollen are going to be around and be causing symptoms."

"Right now, on a scale of one to ten, we're in the nine range so that pollen is very high, especially for this time of the year," Sovine said.

If you are an allergy sufferer, Dr. Moore advises you to take your allergy medicines daily before symptoms get severe.

For the latest on the pollen count be sure to download the Live5 Weather app. You can check the Pollen Meter whenever you start suspected and/or feeling any allergy symptoms.

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