While allergy season got an earlier start than normal this year, our recent cold and wet weather has kept symptoms at bay.
"It's been a quiet season,” said Dr. Jeffrey Factor, an allergist and partner at Connecticut Asthma and Allergy. “And I think some people are sort of lulled into a sense of security but I think the spring allergy season will come upon us in the next four to six weeks and just to be prepared for that."
The cold weather this month has delayed tree pollen and the wet weather has kept whatever pollen there is circulating at bay.
"All of the pollen counts are reported to be mild to moderate,” Factor explained. “I don't really pay attention to them. I pay attention to how many patients come and knock on my door."
And these days, knocking on his door means taking patients by way of telemedicine.
“Although it doesn’t allow me to look in the patient's nose and throat and listen to their lungs, I still can get a sense of how they’re feeling what symptoms they’re having and they can do it from the safety and security of their own home and me as well,” he said.
And in a time where COVID-19 is on the minds of many people, it’s important to differentiate the symptoms. With allergies, you’ll likely experience the classic itchy nose, itchy eyes and congestion but a fever is very rarely an allergy symptom.
"The symptoms are obviously going to increase at some point. The same trees that were out there last year, they all have to pollinate at some point,” Factor said. "Maybe at some point in mid- or late-May they become problematic."
Dr. Factor also encourages those who typically suffer from allergies to remember to take your medication now even if your symptoms haven’t started yet, because with nicer weather on the way they certainly will.