Allergy season kicks off early this year

By Liz Tufts

ltufts@abc6.com

“Runny nose, runny eyes sneezing eyes been itchy sore throat everything just terrible.”

Christine Potter is miserable.

“I’m suffering.”

She’s had severe allergies her entire life, but this season is worse than ever before.

“Some days are worse than others rainy days are horrible then sometimes the really sunny days can be too because of all the pollen.”

She’s getting checked out by doctors here at Asthma and Allergy Physicians of Rhode Island in Lincoln, where the waiting room is busy with people dealing with the same misery.

“have been seeing patients complaining of allergy symptoms in the last couple of weeks. It’s definitely staring earlier,” said Dr. John Zwetchkenbaum.

He  says the allergy season typically starts in April but with a fairly mild winter, the earlier the pollinating season.

“I think this climate change is affecting the allergens because it used to be very specific times. It’s changing the whole thing is changing.”

In Rhode Island, birch, maple and elm trees are already blooming, and affecting people like Christine the most.

“I always find that patients are the most symptomatic but it’s a shorter period when it’s a long winter and then all of the sudden all of the trees are releasing their pollen at once.”

The best advice?

Start taking medications at the beginning of the season to get ahead of the symptoms.

Christine is taking two pills a day, so she can at least enjoy the great outdoors.

“Relief, that’s all I’m hoping for, soon.”

© WLNE-TV 2016