Winter Weather Brings Spring Allergies


March 26, 2014

The snow is starting to melt in Central Virginia, and we're finally seeing some signs of spring. However, for allergy sufferers, that may not be a relief.

While some folks may be ready for spring, spring allergies are ready to bloom.

"Right now, even though there is snow on the ground, there is actually moderate levels of tree pollen allergies," Dr. Madeline Dillion said.

After a winter complete with snow, sleet and a polar vortex, it may seem that the spring allergy season would be milder. Dr. Dillion says that is not necessarily the case.

"It's hard to predict how significant our pollen season is going to be this year, but typically when we're had a wet spring... And I think the snow contributed to that... We see more growth and more pollen."

All that melting snow leads to more moisture in the ground, spurring trees to grow and flowers to bloom producing more pollen.

“The pollen there is the more we are going to have symptomatic folks with runny nose, more sneezing.”

Dr. Dillion says by March she usually has already begun seeing patients suffering from spring allergies... But the lingering cold and the late snow falls has delayed that. But just because it's delayed doesn't mean allergies won't persist... In fact it could actually be worse.

“If you are allergic to grass pollen which is later in the season it may be really bad.”

So what can you do if you suffer from spring time allergies?

“The trees and grasses tend to pollenate in the early morning, so you want to avoid those times as far as going out. Definitely after being outdoors you want to change your clothes, rinse off with a quick shower.”

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