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Allergy Season Upon Us



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Allergy season was delayed a bit because of the brutal winter, but experts say once it ramps up, the weather might cause some extra troubles.

"What usually happens is spring brings our tree pollen. Summer brings our grass pollen and then in the fall we see ragweed," according to CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips.

 
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Hear Also: Erie Co.Health Comm. Dr. Gale Burstein, MD
 
"Because our spring was so delayed this year, many things are blooming up all at once. What should have bloomed over a course of a month is now popping up altogether, so we're seeing really, really high pollen levels," Phillips says.

Not everyone agrees.


"I don't have any reason to expect this will be any better or worse," says Dr. Stanley Schwartz of UB and Kaleida Health. "In fact, it might be better because it had a later onset."

That later onset is the result of one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

 
  from AccuWeather.com

Of all the things that can cause an allergy, pollen is one of the most common. Many of the foods, medicines, or animals that cause allergies can be avoided to a great extent. Even insects and household dust are escapable. But short of staying indoors, with the windows closed, when the pollen count is high--and even that may not help--there is no easy way to avoid airborne pollen.

READ MORE |  See AccuWeather's Pollen & Dust Forecast Maps HERE
   
 
Are your Spring allergies kicking in?
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Yes!
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"Because of the extreme cold and all of the snow we've had, our trees and weeds have been behind schedule," says Accu-Weather meteorologist Dr. Joe Sobel. "It'll take a while for our grasses to produce pollen, and our trees to bloom this year."

Tree pollen season has arrived.

"We're in the midst of the blooming of trees and tree pollen into the air. If you look around you, you'll see the little flowers on the sidewalks, they've already spread their pollen," says Schwartz who has seen patients reporting symptoms.

"We always say each season is the worst season because it's the one we remember most vividly."

Sobel says allergy sufferers can hope for a wetter than normal spring. "If we can get some frequent rain showers, we can wash away pollen from the atmosphere and keep things under control," notes Sobel.

As for an increase in carbon dioxide levels, often associated with the effects of climate change, Phillips said they can "supercharge" some plants' growth, such as ragweed, a common irritant for allergy sufferers.

"More carbon dioxide makes them grow faster, more robustly and makes them release more pollen," she said. "So that's one of the ways we're seeing the climate change the type of allergens that are in the air. People who didn't have allergies in one area might now."

In order to combat allergies this season, Phillips recommends people attempt to keep allergens out of the home with tactics such as shower upon re-entering the home and immediately taking off outer garments. Additionally, she recommended allergy sufferers avoid early morning outdoor activity, use an air-conditioner, explore new medicinal options and avoid stress and anxiety.

AccuWeather's Pollen Map


See More Pollen & Dust Forecast Maps HERE
 

The warm weather is bringing an extra dose of pollen for allergy sufferers this year as a result of the long winter and climate change, according to Phillips, a CBS News medical contributor

The extremely cold winter means plants' growth is not staggered and various pollens could hit in one big burst.
SEE MORE: CBS VIDEO BELOW

As for an increase in carbon dioxide levels, often associated with the effects of climate change, Phillips said they can "supercharge" some plants' growth, such as ragweed, a common irritant for allergy sufferers.

"More carbon dioxide makes them grow faster, more robustly and makes them release more pollen," she said.

"So that's one of the ways we're seeing the climate change the type of allergens that are in the air. People who didn't have allergies in one area might now," Phillips said.

In order to combat allergies this season, Phillips recommends people attempt to keep allergens out of the home with tactics such as shower upon re-entering the home and immediately taking off outer garments. Additionally, she recommended allergy sufferers avoid early morning outdoor activity, use an air-conditioner, explore new medicinal options and avoid stress and anxiety.
 


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Topics : Environment
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Locations : Buffalo
People : Joe SobelStanley Schwartz
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