GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's been a rough couple of months for Mounir Zerrad of Greensboro. "A lot of itching and bumps and rashes. I figured it had something to do with my allergies."
He was right. During an allergy test, the 19-year-old learned he's allergic to nearly everything outside, making this spring especially difficult.
It's been a similar experience for Kim White. "Some days it's pretty tough, other days it will be ok."
He's a crew member at Greensboro Arboretum where workers are planting flowers and plants, today. "I just had a couple of days that were real bad," said White. "Overall I've dealt with it fine."
Whether you spend your day inside or out, this allergy season can be a pain in the head. Allergists blame it on tree pollen and our late-winter ice storm.
Tree pollen gradually increases starting mid-February. But when that ice storm hit in early May, the pollen went away. When it came back a couple weeks later, it re-emerged with a vengeance. "Instead of getting a small progression to where they got really high, they got really high very quickly here," said Dr. Meg Whelan, of LeBauer Allergy & Asthma.
At the same time, grass pollen was on the rise, giving some people a double punch. Dr. Whelan always tells her allergy-suffering patients to start taking allergy meds in mid-February. "I feel that a lot of people this year because there was snow on the ground into mid-February, kind of got lax about doing that so they weren't quite as prepared this year."
It's creating a big game of catch-up.
Zerrad is hoping for permanent relief. "It's nice to know that I won't have to worry about this stuff, potentially."
Allergists say we're about a week or two past the peak for tree pollen. It's the grass pollen that will be a problem for several more weeks.
Allergists suggest keeping your windows closed in the spring and fall, washing your pets more frequently, using the re-circulation button on the air conditioning in your car and don't hang your laundry out to dry because it can collect pollen while it's drying.