Why the mild winter is making your allergies so much worse

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Leaves are popping up on trees and grass is growing — it’s the time of year that wreaks havoc on allergy sufferers.

Many are sneezing and coughing due to pollen in the air. Allergy season is in full bloom and it seems to be worse than normal this year.

“One of the reasons why is because of the pretty mild winter. Even though we had a pretty normal amount of snowfall, we tended to not have a lot of freezing,” said allergist Dr. Asif Khan.

Plants grew too early and there is an increase in pollen from the Ohio River Valley and midwest due to a southwest wind blowing it in.

That hasn’t stopped people from enjoying the great weather.

“I take Claritin daily this time of year. I have been using Flonase as well because I wake up and my throat and eyes are scratchy and itchy. But I love the outdoors, so it doesn’t keep me from walking my dog,” Marcy Koltonski.

There’s a price to pay for being active outside. That’s the case for Jerry Martin’s wife.

“She has to take her allergy shots every three weeks. She gets through it, though, she’s a trooper.”

Allergies can affect the respiratory system, skin, or digestive tract. Even though it might feel like the flu, it’s likely caused by fpollen. Dr. Khan says relief is available.

“First of all, there’s over the counter medicines. Everything went over the counter years ago. There’s Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, a number of antihistamines on the market. You want to start something that might even have a Sudafed in it if your heart can take it.”

The good news is tree pollen will wind down some in the next month or so.