Warm weather in ENC producing pollen and prompting seasonal allergy symptoms

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Spring has not officially sprung yet, but you wouldn’t know it by the temperature outside. Some residents in the east say the warm weather is causing problems with pollen.

Plants are budding much earlier than normal and people with seasonal allergies are feeling the effects.

“It’s a tough time. It’s a tough time around here with the pollen” says Sandra Kite, who suffers from allergies.

WITN Meteorologist Charlie Ironmonger explains why this is happening earlier than usual this year. “Trees can tell when we get above 55 degrees for air temperature and once that happens it triggers a counter and whenever they get to a certain number of degree days, depending on species of trees, it will then trigger pollen production,” says Ironmonger.

Allergist Doctor Sherif Taha recommends starting medication early to ease many common symptoms including sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.

“Either antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops you can start like a week or two before the symptoms. If the symptoms hit it’s going to be difficult to get them under control,” says Taha.

Dr. Taha also recommends people experiencing allergy symptoms to minimize their time outdoors.

Kite says she is dreading the lime-green film that covers windshields and porches. But this year – she’s prepared. “I’m going to get me some nasal spray so I can be on top of things and keep my prescriptions filled. I got about five bottles of Flonase at my house now,” says Kite.

Dr. Taha says one way to cure allergy symptoms almost completely is through immunotherapy injections.

The official spring season in North Carolina is March 19th through June 20th.