Allergy alert: Pollen shows up early this year in Bay area - WFLA News Channel 8

Allergy alert: Pollen shows up early this year in Bay area

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

With temperatures in the 80's, it's perfect to get outside and enjoy the spring-like weather. But something else is making an early appearance too: tree pollen.

For allergy sufferers like Irma Lester, that means symptoms. "I get a lot of sinus headaches from the pollen and I have kind of a wheeze... and I use Nasonex for my nose to clear it up," said Lester.

According to Pollen.com, which tracks pollen levels all over the country, the Tampa area is the worst, with high levels of pollen.

Allergy specialist, Dr. Mandel Sher, practices in Seminole. He confirms he's seeing signs of an early allergy season. "Maybe this week-end people are going to be highly allergic," said Sher.

Sher tracks the abrupt onslaught of allergy symptoms from patients every year. In 2010, a particularly cold year, the peak hit on March 15th. Two years ago, it hit March 6 and last year it was early, February 6th, according to Sher.

With the flu season barely over and the allergy season already beginning, it's easy to confuse the symptoms the first few days. "But if the sneezy itchy watery continues after the first day or two, without fever or severe headache or achiness, that's going to be your oak pollen allergies," said Sher.

But just because the pollen is out early, doesn't mean allergy sufferers are going to be miserable for a longer period of time this year. Allergy season lasts 6 to 8 weeks, no matter when it starts.

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