Allergy alert: Georgia's pollen season may be here a little early

It's the one thing allergy suffers dread: the start of allergy season. While it may seem too early to start taking precautions experts say the season is starting earlier this year.

"My pneumonic is start taking your nasal sprays and your allergy medicines during Valentine’s Day or afterwards but this year it’s unusually early," Dr Thomas Chacko of Chacko Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus Center said.

It may still be early February, but some signs of spring are already here with some trees already starting to bloom. And with the blooms come the coughing and sneezing allergy suffers are all too familiar with.

"Pollen counts are getting higher now likely because it gets warmer earlier," Dr. Chacko said. 

According to Atlanta Allergy and Asthma group, data the week of February 6 was the first week pollen counts have stayed in the high range totaling 439 Thursday with tree pollen in the highest contributor.

Pollen counts have been reaching that level or higher sooner over the last few years. Last year, it was February 14, February 26 in 2021, and not until mid-March in 2020.

Experts say that trend means allergy sufferers should start taking precautions sooner.

"Be attentive about taking your medicine there are very good over the counter medicines that can work. You can do some more natural remedies like you do the rinses the sinus rinses," Dr. Chacko said.

"We’re coming from viral season where everyone is sick with viruses and colds and COVID and what not, and now you might think it’s viral, but its maybe allergies now," he added.

And keep an eye on the weather. Factors like rain can lower the pollen count.

"If it rains the pollen counts will go down because it washes away in the rain. So, you may want to wait if you’re going to do some activities, maybe wait until after the rain to go out, and the pollen counts will be lower, and you should start feeling better when that occurs," Dr. Chacko explained.

"But then if it’s dry for two or three days, the pollen counts shoot up pretty darn quick," he added.