TRUMBULL, Conn. (WTNH) — A sputtering spring and long winter could make this allergy season one of the most miserable in quite some time.
Snow on the ground, trees budding, and flowers popping are a mix blessing for allergy sufferers.
“As those trees bud, we think what’s going to happen is we’re going to have a very intense pollen season, but a shortened pollen season potentially because all the trees are going to bud all of a sudden simultaneously, and then do a little catch up,” said Dr. Steven Levine.
The allergy specialist at ENT Allergy in Trumbull says the extended winter weather brings good and bad news.
“The good news is you will probably have a shorter period of time that you are going to be feeling really, really bad,” said said Dr. Levine. “The bad news is you may be feeling really worse this year than you did last year because of the intensity, the high level of pollen we are expecting.”
The yearly impact has Christal Brown seeking relief early. She said symptoms are severe, “To the point where I’ve missed work. I haven’t been able to go outside. I can’t go to a baseball game.”
Over the counter drugs have not been effective.
“My own experiences, it’s tree pollen,” said Brown. “Once those trees have the little buds on them, it starts.”
It’s her first time to seek help after 10 years of suffering.
“Every year, I just keep putting off, but this year I finally said I’m going to do it,” said Brown.
There’s a difference between allergies and viruses like colds this time of year.
“If you a have a couple of bad days, and then a couple of good days, a couple of bad days, that’s more typical of allergy,” said Dr. Levine.
He says it’s just a matter of a week or two until the tree pollen is in full bloom.
“There are some people who are very sensitive and are now beginning to feel their allergies,” said Dr. Levine.
He prescribes immunotherapy, allergy shot or drops, for people with prolonged allergies.
If over-the-counter drugs are not effective, prescription nose sprays, anti-histamines and eye drops are also available.