12 Snow Storms, Rain, Floods, and Now Allergies

By Katy Tur
|  Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011  |  Updated 7:47 AM EDT
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Round two of this season's winter blast.

Round two of this season's winter blast.

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First there was the Christmas blizzard, then another a round of snow, and another…and then nine more.

Before you knew it, along came the rain, a lot of it, in some cases enough to cause floods.

Now, as April approaches, bringing more rain and warmer temperatures, it's time to beware of sneezing, coughing, runny noses, stuffed noses, puffy eyes, headaches and so many more annoying symptoms.

Yes, it’s allergy season once again.

“The weather definitely has an effect on allergens in the air,” according to Dr. Alanna Levine, a New York pediatrician.

Levine sees it every year but with all the rain we’ve had and the rain we’re still getting, now allergies can be even worse.

“When you have a late cold winter frost you tend to see a decrease in tree pollen,” Levine said. “But when you have rain you see an increase in the grass pollens.”

It’s not just the grass -- once the warm weather arrives, the mold spores shoot up as well, along with tree pollens.

So you’re coughing, you’re sneezing, your voice is raspy. So how do you know you’re not just really sick?

“If you have that stuffy runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing and it’s lasting longer than two weeks then you might want to consider allergies,” Levine said.

Also, allergy symptoms never include fevers; meaning hay fever is a misnomer.

Levine suggests four easy ways to limit your exposure to those pesky allergens.

1. Pollen counts are highest in the morning – so try to stay inside until the afternoon.
2. Keep your windows closed
3. Get a high performance air-filter
4. Take a shower when you get home. That way you’ll get any lingering pollen off your body.

You can follow Katy on twitter @KatyTur4NY

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