High pollen levels bring an early allergy season

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Allergy season is in full swing, and you can see pollen just about everywhere you look.

In Charleston, the pollen level is at a twelve on the pollen level scale. That scale is made up of the pollen in the air, and the higher the pollen the more pollen there is.

"This year we had a real wet winter and then we had some unusually warm days and weeks in the beginning of February," Dr. Andrew Davidson with Charleston Allergy said. "The combination that helps all the plants grow, and then the early warm weather has given us high pollen counts earlier than we usually see them."

"It started way early," Michelle Grice said. "It's terrible. Absolutely terrible."

Which could lead to a long heavy pollen season.

"If the weather stays warm, above freezing, and we don't have any more frosts this year, and we get a good amount of rain in the spring like we usually do, it could be a long heavy pollen season," said Davidson.

Davidson said they've seen high pollen counts since the last week in January, and data shows for the last ten years the pollen counts have been getting higher earlier every year.

For Michelle Grice, her family is feeling it.

"All of my kids have them are all suffering a lot earlier this year and they're bothering me a little bit more than usual," Grice said."I usually don't have too much trouble, but this year I'm starting to feel the effects."

"A month ago, everyone we saw had the flu or some other virus or infection," Davidson said."Now, we're seeing a lot of people that are having problems with pollen and allergies."

Davidson said about one of every four people have allergies. It's one of the biggest causes of missed school and work.

"We are seeing a lot of people that are having bad problems with pollen and with allergy symptoms, breathing problems, eye problems, sinus problems," said Davidson.

Davidson said to make things easier start trying to prevent the inevitable before it gets bad.

"It's easier to prevent severe allergy symptoms than to treat them once they get bad," he said."It's probably a good idea to take stuff on a regular basis out of prevention."

If over-the-counted medicines aren't working, Davidson said to consult your doctor for some stronger prescription medications.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.