Early Allergy Season is Upon Us

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If you have allergies you are probably feeling the effects earlier this year than in past years.

You can blame mother nature on that one.

Flowers are starting to bloom and trees are slowly starting to bud.

It's a beautiful sight, but not for everyone.

"I'm allergic to everything. Grass, trees, flowers, all the beautiful stuff I enjoy," said Latsamy Vongvafeith of Stroudsburg.

She is one of a large number of patients seen by Dr. Rajesh Bhagat, an allergist in East Stroudsburg.

Dr. Baghat said right now he is seeing more people compared to last year.

"The allergy season has begun early this year in comparison to other years because we had relatively warmer winter and we really don't have any snow cover on the ground," said Dr. Bhagat.

He said the snow would trap and freeze the pollen on the ground, giving allergy sufferers relief.

With these warmer temperatures comes early signs of spring and early warning signals for allergy sufferers.

"Drippy nose, my sinus, headaches," said Vongvafeith.

"The tree pollens are a major problem and they have begun pollinating early this year.  Therefore the season has been two to three weeks early," said Dr. Bhagat.

He added if you're having allergy symptoms, you should start with over the counter medications.

If those don't work he said you should go to your doctor and perhaps may need to see an allergist.  That's exactly what Vongvafeith had to do to get a stronger dose of medicine, in the form of allergy shots.

"I decided to try it this year, to get the shot," said Vongvafeith.

The height of the allergy season, when it's in full bloom could be early as well.  Dr. Bhagat is expecting early April.

He said while you can't prevent allergies, you can protect yourself against extreme symptoms.

- Don't do outdoor activities in the morning.

- Wash your hair before bed to get rid of pollen in hair.

- Keep windows closed at night.