Recent heat brings allergy season earlier than expected to Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather in 2024 and it’s been a mild winter. While this means many of us have been able to be outdoors a bit more, it also means that allergy season has come a bit early.

If you’ve noticed some extra sneezing or a sniffly nose over the past few weeks you are not alone. “We actually had some pollen counts showing tree pollen in February which is very unusual,” said Dr. Tiffany Owens, an allergy physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “We usually don’t see that until earlier in April.”

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Because of this, Dr. Owens said she is expecting a rough allergy season. She said she is already hearing from her allergy patients who she hasn’t talked to since the fall. “For patients it’s kind of a surprise in that they aren’t maybe expecting it this early, they might not be prepared with their medications or with avoidance measures so they start to feel unwell,” said Dr. Owens.

Typically, Dr. Owens said people have the same allergy symptoms year after year. “For allergies we think of the acute symptoms being more things like the itch, the sneeze, the runny nose. The more chronic symptoms are that congestion, the post-nasal drip, delayed sleep or not feeling well rested,” said the doctor.

Even if you aren’t noticing symptoms yet, Dr. Owens said they are coming as pollen counts rise in central Ohio. “It’s always better to treat the symptoms before the unfurl if we can anticipate the timing of when that’s going to happen,” said Dr. Owens.

So if you are not yet taking your daily allergy pill, Dr. Owens said this may be a good time to start.

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