If you've been bothered with a scratchy, sore throat and itchy, watery eyes, experts have some bad news for your upcoming weeks.
They say you're far from having days free of coughing, sneezing and reaching for the nearest tissue. In fact, this allergy season could be among the most brutal to ever hit the Tri-State.
Who do we have to thank?
Old Man Winter.
The long winter of inches of snow, days of freezing rain, and frigid cold temperatures triggers the signs of spring that bring allergies our way - tree pollen, grass and flowers. Experts say allergies will act up all at once, rather than stagger through the season.
Plus, if you're allergic to more than one thing, your allergy misery could feel off the charts.
The good news is that simple, easy tricks can be done each day to combat illness from allergies.
- Shower before bed to get rid of pollen
- Close your windows to keep outdoor allergies where they belong - outside
- Use nasal sprays to make symptoms less severe
- Start medicating early - get ahead of allergies before they get ahead of you
- Spend less time outdoors when pollen count and mold levels are high
- Let the spring cleaning begin - dust, vacuum and do laundry often to prevent mold from growing
- Better take butterbur - an herb to reduce allergy symptoms (talk with your doc, first!)
- Be a picky eater - some fruits and veggies contain proteins that can jump start your sneezing
- Get your allergy shot - benefits can last beyond allergy season
We asked WCPO Facebook fans about their strategies to stay free of allergy uproars. They gave eight pointers on how they survive the seasonal sniffles . Some might surprise you!
If you feel like allergy season starts earlier each year, you're instincts are right. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found early allergy seasons are no fluke . In 2012, February marked the allergy onset.
As the climate changes get more intense, the pollen count rises. By 2040, pollen counts are forecasted to double.
"I do think that the allergy seasons seem to be longer. When winter is shorter and less severe, it means there will be pollens and molds present for a longer period of time," Dr. Stacey Gray, an allergy expert at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary said.