Winter weather may not feel like it's going anywhere anytime soon, but spring officially begins in less than 2 weeks. And doctors claim extreme temperatures could lead to a more severe allergy season, even when it warms up.
Excessive winter precipitation- rain, ice, snow- means there could be more pollen in the spring, which worries at least one allergist in Atlanta.
"It's been very wet, and with wet, the trees take in more water," said Stanley Fineman, MD at the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic. "When the trees take in more water they thrive. When they thrive, they release more pollen."
Rollercoaster temperatures only add to the mess. Warm, pollinating days, followed by cold, with warm again, could be a problem for allergy sufferers. They may have a stronger reaction to pollen the second time around.
"The initial exposure to the pollen will trigger some symptoms and basically prime their allergic immune system to prepare for when it's re-exposed to that allergen, they get an even more violent reaction," said Fineman.
One in five Americans suffer from allergies, and there are nearly four million work days lost as a result of pollen allergies.