Spring Weather Sparks Allergy Concerns

(NECN: Ana Bottary) - Flowers and trees are blooming in New England. They may be beautiful, but for people who suffer from seasonal allergies, their pollen is anything but that.

"Both of my daughters suffer from allergies, and at this time of the year, they're very bad," said Paula Prentice of Holden, Massachusetts.

Dr. Dan Steigman of St. Vincent Hospital says the allergy season usually starts in April, but due to the cold weather it started late.

Those who have seasonal allergies are starting to see symptoms.

After a long winter, Steigman says everything is in bloom at once, and trees are the main reason for allergies this time of year.

"As you've probably seen if you're driving on the highway and such, the trees are starting to bud. And those buds and the trees have allergens in them," said Steigman.

Steigman says the best way to treat seasonal allergies is to plan ahead.

"If you're someone who, every spring, gets allergy symptoms, sometimes going on things a little before things start to bloom might be helpful," he said.

He also says many people may think they have allergies, but there actually suffering from asthma, whose symptoms could worsen this time of year.

"Asthma is treated very differently," said Steigman. "People with asthma can get into the hospital and be in the emergency room, so it's really important to make that distinction."

For now, trees are the main reason for itchy eyes and sneezing. Steigman says this summer, grass and weeds will soon be the issue. The allergy season is just beginning.

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