Pollen from pine - Darrell
(WXIA) -- Leslie Caylor knows when there is pollen in the air.
"No fun," she said. "Blowing my nose constantly, sneezing constantly, your eyes get swollen and itchy."
And it's going to be a "no fun" February for many people. There are still more than three weeks left in winter, but spring allergies are already kicking in.
The recent warm weather caused pollen levels to soar. While pollen counts rarely get higher than 100, it hit 255 last Friday.
Experts say the high number can be blamed on trees starting to bloom, as the recent winter storms gave way to temperatures in the 60's, and that early spike could mean trouble for allergy sufferers.
Dr. Stanley Fineman with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic said the ice and snow actually provided perfect conditions for the trees.
"They are well hydrated and they've got their water on board, and when trees are well hydrated, they thrive, so they are probably going to release more pollen," he said.
Sensitive patients like Caylor are turning to medicine for relief.
"It was bad. It was to the point where I had to get shots," she said.
For others, it means reaching for the Kleenex -- and this year just may be an extra-long sniffle season.
"If we have a longer pollen season, for people with allergies, that could be a problem," Fineman said.