Healthy Living: For many, mild temps bring unseasonably early allergies
The almost spring-like weather this winter seems to be forcing an early allergy season into full bloom in New York and other parts of the country. YNN's Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
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With mostly mild weather and barely any freezing temps or snow this winter, it is making for a perfect storm for an early and long allergy season.
"My contacts have been really dry which is why I am wearing the glasses today. My throat has been itchy and I've been sneezing like crazy," says allergy sufferer Sarah Balogh.
"I start with the itchy eyes and the runny nose. I'd love it to be in June or later in March, but it seems to be earlier, end of February," says allergy sufferer Gail Rodney. "When I saw the flowers start to pop up I knew I was going to have problems."
That last image isn't in her head. Some parts of Mother Nature are already in early bloom. Because of that, Dr. Hale Yarmohammadi, an allergist at Beth Israel Medical Center, says she's seeing a stream of more runny noses and itchy eyes than she usually does this time of year.
"When this season is milder the trees, I would like to say get confused and start pollinating. So that pollen starts causing problems for patients that suffer from seasonal allergies, especially tree allergies," explains Yarmohammadi.
Dr. Yarmohammadi says a major thing allergy sufferers shouldn't do is delay seeking treatment if they are experiencing symptoms because if they are real, the longer one waits, they more difficult they can be to treat.
"A lot of patients think, 'I'll tough it out. I'll wait. I don't like to take medication.' Then when it hits them it is so severe one pill is not going to be enough," says Yarmohammadi. "A lot of times we wind up giving steroids and really stronger medication just to control the symptoms. You always want to remember that your allergies do get worse as you go through more seasons. So the more seasons your body sees the worse it going to react to the pollen. So if last spring you were really bad, it is likely you are going to be even worse this season."
Dr. Yarmohammadi says with spring-like weather apparently sticking around much longer than expected this year, allergy sufferers will want to make sure they are ready.