Spring allergy season is blowing in early in many parts of the U.S. this year, with certain areas reporting pollen increases a good month sooner than usual. To avoid the sneezing, itching and wheezing, get a jump on treatments early, allergy experts told CBS News.
Climate change is part of what's driving more sniffles, drippy eyes and asthma-related allergy symptoms ahead of the typical spring pollen season, said Dr. Anthony Montanaro, head of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Oregon Health & Science University. A city or town's local topography and weather and the number of trees and plants in the area can play a role, too.
Seasonal allergies are typically divvied up by season: Spring is tree pollen time, late spring and summer mean more grass and flower pollens, and by fall, ragweed and other plants are producing pollen. But warmer weather year round, and erratic temperatures, are shifting pollen patterns, and allergists are seeing patients' needs changing.
In Oregon this year, Montanaro said, "We had a number of days in January where we had high tree pollen counts, where we'd never seen that in the past. We've recorded this for well over 50 ...