Tree pollen allergies may emerge earlier with warm end to February

Local News

During his 30-years as an allergist, Dr. Juan Sotomayor has learned a little about pollen.

“There is really no way to escape it. So, if you are sensitized, you are going to get hit,” he says.

The doctor says tree pollen allergies generally hit his patients first and this year’s warm February could speed up symptoms.

“If you have medicines like nasal steroids and antihistamines, you want to get those started as soon as the symptoms hit. Typically I start people mid-March. So, we are starting to see tree pollen. We might tell them to start a little earlier.”

People who feel the effects on these warm winter days can close windows and avoid outdoor runs to minimize the impact.

Sotomayor says grass pollen is the next threat, typically around the first week of May.

He says most seasons are fairly consistent. But, this year’s warm and dry weather is causing another concern.

“Outdoor molds have been associated with more severe symptoms occasionally for asthma,” he says. “Mold spores thrive on moist and they thrive on the conditions of the soil decaying and all that stuff that has been built under the snow. That actually worries me more than pollen early.”

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