Warm weather brings early start to allergy season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Warm weather brings early start to allergy season

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Once again, we're enjoying another day with some unseasonably warm weather!  But the early onset of spring is not a treat for everyone.  It's giving the allergy season a head start.

For Cher Meller, when it comes to time outdoors, there can certainly be too much of a good thing.

"When the humidity starts to rise, even if the weather's beautiful, it just really triggers the inflammation in my nose and makes it really hard to breathe, really hard to smell," Meller said.

Her allergies and sinus problems got so bad, she sought help from an expert out-of-state to find the right combination of remedies.

"I take Allegra D in the morning, and I do a Nasicort spray too, to help keep the swelling out of the nose.  And before all that, I actually do a nasal irrigation rinse to help flush those toxins out of the nose," said Meller.

And with this year's mild weather, local allergy clinics are seeing a spike in patients experiencing those kinds of problems earlier than usual.

"I think with the amount of southerly wind we're having, pollen is coming up from the southern part of the state that's probably a week or two ahead," said Dr. David Redfern with Cedar Valley Medical Specialists in Waterloo.

If you start sneezing, having congestion, or itchy and watery eyes, doctors suggest you try limiting your time outside first.

"You can try and avoid being outdoors in high pollen times.  If you exercise, if you want to run or bike, evening might be a good time to do that when the levels will be a little lower.  Then shower off when you get home so you get rid of any pollen that's on the clothes or on your hair or anything to keep the symptoms from continuing on," said Dr. Redfern.

If that doesn't help, over-the-counter medicines are next in your line of defense.  And if you're still miserable, seek help from your family doctor or an allergist so they can prescribe stronger medicines that can help you kick the spring-time sniffles.

Some experts do predict this early start to the allergy season could mean it sticks around longer this year, too.  Without a hard freeze, some mold spores and other allergens weren't killed off this winter.  So allergy season might easily stretch well into July.

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