Allergy season starting early because of recent wet weather

Experts see signs of allergies...

REDDING, Calif. - Healthcare professionals are seeing an early onset of allergies just in time for the official start to spring on Monday.

Doctor Michael Jorde with Hilltop Medical Center said he's seen an increase in patients coming in with possible colds that turn out to just be allergies.

Jorde believes the very wet winter and warmer temperatures a few weeks ago were to blame for the high pollen count and said it's also happening sooner than previous years.

"It's just been so much allergy that we're seeing this season and I think it was because of the rains we've had. Kind of not usual for Redding, California and then we had a couple days of beautiful sunshine and then the bloom happened," said Jorde.

Dianna Henderson said she had a similar experience a couple of years ago when she started to suffer from allergies during the spring.

"I just had like a runny nose and sneezing and itchy eyes and I thought I must be coming down with a cold so I went to the doctor finally and he's nope you have allergies," said Henderson.

Henderson said with possible showers back in the forecast she knows her symptoms will improve but only for a short period of time.

"It is good, being wet and damp helps but as soon as it gets hot and dry we'll see a difference," said Henderson.

Mercy Medical Center Nurse Practitioner Curtis Chow said allergies is just a way of life in the Northstate but noticed his own allergy symptoms flare up with quick changes in the weather pattern. He said those that move into the area from out of state or another city are also affected.

"New people to this area have to acclimate to the cottonwoods, to the pines and stuff of our area especially people who come from the city or come from different states," said Chow.

Dr. Jorde said the biggest culprit of allergies in the Northstate is ragweed but added that symptoms are manageable without a doctor visit.

"But I think most people can take care of this stuff on their own. I think now that we have Flonase over the counter, which used to be a prescription, Claritin, Allegra those basically symptom managers are adequate for a lot of people," said Jorde.

Jorde said if you're taking medication for allergies and the symptoms get worse to consult with your family doctor. They may have to refer you to an allergist for special treatment.

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