Experts warn of intense allergy season as pollen counts rise over time
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With spring comes budding flowers, trees and unfortunately for people who suffer from allergies it also brings pollen.
Experts say the sneezing and itching may be starting earlier for some people. Although the pollen isn't coming from trees in southeast Wisconsin just yet, warm temperatures and winds have carried pollen and other allergens to Wisconsin already.
Gary Steven is an allergist at Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center. Steven says he's already tracked some tree and grass pollen in the air.
Allergy season could begin here in Wisconsin as early as this weekend. That's when allergy sufferers will really start to notice symptoms, especially when they're outside.
"Allergies are additive, so the more things you're allergic to the worse your symptoms are going to be," said Steven.
Steven says data shows the maximum pollen count is up 133% over the last 25 years.
The reason is because warmer temperatures are causing trees to produce more pollen and for a longer time.
"We've seen this in our own area. I've been sampling pollen since 1995, and over the last 25 years we've seen the tree pollen season extending by 17 days. it's about 27% longer than it was at the turn of the century," said Steven.
The rising pollen count means it's more important than ever to get yourself treated if you think you have allergies.
According to the CDC, extreme rainfall and rising temperatures can also contribute to indoor air quality problems and stir up allergens inside.
A total of 19.2 million people were diagnosed with hay fever over the last 12 months, that's an allergic reaction to pollen and more. With longer seasons and more pollen in the air, the CDC says more people are at risk.