Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- Many of you have been sniffling and sneezing lately, and the mild winter and unseasonably warm spring temperatures are the reason allergies are hitting us early this year. Doctors are calling it one of the longest allergy season's ever.
According to the asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from some form of allergies. And for those people this year, there's been little break from the congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes.
If you suffer from allergies, it's been tough to enjoy being outside...like heading to the park on a nice day like today. Not only has this been one of the longest allergy seasons in recent memory, but allergist Adela Taylor says based on feedback from her patients it’s also the worst.
"All my patients are telling me their symptoms this year are way worse than they have been in the past." She blames that on an early start to the growing season after our big march warm up.
"It started much earlier because we had a very mild winter and a very quick melt so our spring pollen season started very, very early and then we had a double whammy while the tree pollen was going the grass pollen kicked in then when all the rain dried up now we had the weeds coming up and we've actually started to see ragweed already." She says the dry and hot conditions in July have caused ragweed to flourish. Usually ragweed pollen gets going in early to mid-August, but this year it started in late July.
"July is usually a good month for allergy sufferers but because grass went into a bit of July and ragweed started early, they haven't had much of a relief." And that's kept Taylor busy.
"We're seeing a bump in patients right now for august. We slowed down a little bit in July like we usually do but now we're starting to see patients coming in earlier in August. A lot more nasal congestion, A lot more complaining of eye symptoms." Taylor says if your suffering, be sure to keep the windows closed and ac on, shower and shampoo in the evening to remove pollen, and wear a hat and sunglasses during the day to keep pollen away from your hair and eyes. That's all in addition to antihistamines.
She also added that the summer cold you think you have may actually be allergies. Usually colds don’t have eye symptoms like red and itchy eyes. That would be a red flag. Another red flag is if your symptoms last longer than 7-10 days.