Warm winter, windy weather in N.J., and the pollen is flying

Pollen counts are particularly high this spring, and that’s causing problems for those with allergies.

Dr. Catherine Monteleone, an allergist and associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, says even people who have not had allergy problems before are suffering this year.

“We’ve had a bad season so far because it started early due to the warmth that came on early,” she said. “And it’s persisting due to the dryness and the windy days that we’ve had. So the pollen is really flying and people are really feeling it.”

Monteleone, who said over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can bring some relief, says it’s best to avoid outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen is the highest.

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She also counsels persistence.

“Don’t give up if the first medicine you try doesn’t work. There are plenty of medications to try. A lot of them are over the counter, the antihistamines and decongestants, so they can try those first,” she said. “If those don’t work then they should see a doctor who can give them prescription medications.”

Tree pollen may cause problems for about another month. Then allergies to grass become the big concern right into the summer.

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