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This is why allergy season seems a little more unbearable in Philadelphia this year

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – About 81 million people have seasonal allergies and the numbers are growing. Doctors say the spring allergy season is longer and more intense than before due to global warming and symptoms are lasting for a long time.

Spring flowers in the Philadelphia region are a welcome sight, but the botanical beauties and budding trees are causing a major spike in allergy symptoms.

“Today is pretty bad,” Rahim Ali said.

“Lots of sneezing, swollen eyes, just very unbearable,” Patricia Davis said.

“It just makes me cough easier and makes my breathing a little bit uncomfortable,” Claudia Crane said.

For allergy sufferers, the misery will linger. The allergy season is getting longer: it starts 20 days earlier and lasts 10 days longer

“If you have a warm winter, it just means the growing season starts earlier, extending the season,” says Dr. Manav Segal, a Philadelphia-based allergy specialist.

Segal said 2023 was the warmest winter on record and the amount of pollen in the air also increased by more than 20%.

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“So as the pollen count increases, it will be responsible for increased symptoms,” Segal said.

For those who want to minimize pollen exposure:

  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are high.
  • Once you get home, change clothes and take a shower to remove the pollen particles from your body.
  • Keep windows closed and use high-efficiency filters in your home’s ventilation system.
  • And if you are taking allergy medications, start taking them two weeks before the season starts.

If medications don’t work, doctors say allergy shots can be very helpful for some people.

Spring allergies persist until mid-June. Then there’s a little break until September, when fall allergies take hold.

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