Allergy season is starting earlier this year across the Carolinas

WBTV Chief Meteorologist Al Conklin said the wet and warm weather is to blame for allergens releasing earlier.
People are outside enjoying the warm weather, but they're also experiencing allergy symptoms.
People are outside enjoying the warm weather, but they're also experiencing allergy symptoms.(N/A)
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:12 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Spring seems to have sprung in some parts of Charlotte, but with that comes an unwelcome interruption.

“A runny nose, a lot of runny nose, and coughing,” one person told WBTV.

“Itchy eyes,” another person said.

Chief Meteorologist Al Conklin said the recent weather created the perfect atmosphere for allergens.

“You’re talking about really warm weather here and think about it, going back to November, December, January, we had so much rain,” he said. “All of that is factoring into why these pollens are releasing so early.”

Conklin said it’s happening unusually early.

“It looks like we’re three to four weeks early ahead of schedule on the allergens,” he said.

It’s reflected in what doctors are seeing in their offices.

“We’re having a little spike in allergies,” Dr. Matthew CiRullo, a family medicine physician with Atrium Health, said. “For me, it seems in the last week or so.”

Dr. CiRullo said many patients think they are suffering from something more serious than allergies because they aren’t used to having allergies this time of year.

“If you’re having coughs, shortness of breath, fever, it’s those symptoms that would make it a little more worrisome of an infection like COVID, flu, just a cold,” he said. “If it’s really just itchy, runny nose it’s probably allergies.”

He recommends starting a nasal spray immediately and seeing your doctor if it doesn’t get better.

“If we’re not getting anywhere, they’re still feeling terrible, we’re doing the treatments, that we’ll start looking into very specific causes of the allergies,” he said.