Allergy season comes early, overlaps flu season

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many of us continue to deal with a rougher than usual flu season, and some of us are now also facing the onset of allergies. One Myrtle Beach allergist says he's already busy seeing patients with an early start to allergy season.

Unseasonably warm temperatures this month means allergy season has come early. Doctors say the reason behind this is tree pollen levels which have increased as recent temperatures have gone up.

If you're allergy prone, doctors recommend staying indoors to stay away from pollen. It's also recommended to start getting treatment as soon as you start feeling allergy symptoms.

"I think it's important for people to recognize when they have allergies to try to treat them as early as possible because we know that they respond much better if they're treated at the early onset or even prior to the beginning of their symptoms. Many people have the same symptoms every year at the same time, they already know when they're going to have problems. They should already be thinking about the steps that they can take to prevent having a miserable spring," said Dr. Mark Schecker, allergist at Coastal Carolina Allergy and Asthma.

But since flu season isn't quite over, he says people can easily confuse allergy symptoms with those of the flu.

""Both allergies and illnesses like the flu or other similar viruses cause upper respiratory tract symptoms and everyone is aware of the ones like sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, stuffy nose, drainage into the throat. Those are kind of typical and may be shared by both," said Schecker.

Schecker added relief won't happen anytime soon. Allergy season is just getting started with that tree pollen. He says grass pollen will start to move in, in the next couple of months.

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