Pollen count up, allergies starting early

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It is very early for allergies, but if you’re feeling symptoms, you’re not alone.

The pollen count is up in New Mexico compared to this time last year. Allergists say it has jumped to a “low-medium level.”

Allergy season typically starts in March, but people could be experiencing symptoms now.

There are ways to tell if it is allergies or a cold. Symptoms of allergies include itchiness of the eyes, nose, throat  and a runny nose. Itchiness is not a symptom of a cold.

The reason that pollen levels are higher than they were last year at this time is because the weather is different. A professor of biology at UNM says New Mexico has seen higher temperatures this past month and that causes trees to release pollen.

To relieve symptoms, doctors recommend over-the-counter anti-histamines.

Before taking medication, there is another way to check if it’s an allergy or a cold.

“In the nose, people typically have a runny nose and it’s clear fluid. So most patients will look at what comes out of their nose,” said Dr. Mark Schuyler, UNM Health Sciences.

Even though pollen levels are a little higher this year, doctors say it is hard to predict exactly how bad allergies will be in the coming months.

To monitor pollen levels in Albuquerque»

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