WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Sneezing, coughing, sinus pressure... the symptoms of spring.
We are finally enjoying warmer temperatures here in the D.C. area, but warmer days will also bring higher pollen counts. Now is the time to be pro-active, before the symptoms start.
Dr. Dan Brody, M.D. of Sibley Memorial Hospital says, "Things are a bit surpressed because of the cold weather we've been having, so it seems that the normal peak pollen season is going to be a couple of weeks delayed."
Dr. Brody expects peak pollen counts to kick in towards the end of the month, and he says its going to be potent. So if you normally have spring allergies, don't wait to get treated.
"We are definintely seeing people who are already symptomatic. It is definitely better to start your medications before your symptoms really kick in because it will have a better chance of working," adds Dr. Brody.
Our region is particularly tough for allergy sufferers year-round. Local residents have 3 major factors that contribute to sinus pressure and sneezing.
Dr. Brody says, "We are sort of the city of trees. In this area, people have a bad tree season, a bad mold season, and they have a bad dust mite season."
The dominant oak tree in our area is responsible for most of the pollen that makes spring allergies bad.
Multiple medications may be necessary for those who suffer extreme allergies.
Dr. Brody says, "More than just an over-the-counter Claritin and an over-the-counter antihistamine. Often they need to use some of the prescription nasal sprays and a prescription eye drop. A lot of people with allergies will also get a little bit of asthma during the peak pollen season for which they may need special inhalers to help with their breathing.
Betty Bird of the District is getting her allergy shots ahead of the season. She describes her symptoms if she misses her shots.
Bird says, "My nose would get real stuffy. I just wouldn't be happy."
She has allergy issues all year-round, but the spring can be tough. She still loves the season that is filled with cherry blossoms and milder days.
Bird says, "I like spring, my allergies don't affect how I relate to the world."