LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you have continued to get out in the wet weather, you might have noticed your itchy eyes and sneezes kicking in a little bit earlier than usual this year. Officials predict this year's allergy season will be shorter, but more severe than previous seasons'. Do March showers bring April flowers?
"That's not quite the saying, but that's what's happening," said Dr. Brian Humphreys, a Lufkin ear, nose and throat doctor.
Towering Pineywoods fill the East Texas skies.
"East Texas is just full of inhalant allergies," Humphreys said.
It's time for the pines to pollinate, so one would expect allergy season to be a little more intense in these parts. The showers are making this season's sneezes come sooner.
"It's usually the very last week of March, up to the first week of April," Humphreys said.
Spring is upon us, and high pollen levels have arrived early as well.
"It's on your car, on your porch, and on the sidewalks," Humphreys said.
Experts say that wet weather conditions will make the pollen thick and make it stick.
"We estimate that up to 35 percent of adult Americans are allergic," Humphreys said.
Humphreys charts the pollen levels every week with a pollen index. Levels range from one to 12, with 12 being the highest.
"Sniffly nose, sneezing a lot, congestion which means it's hard to breathe. It just feels very stuffy," Humphreys said.
He said you can easily visit www.pollen.com , enter your zip code, and prepare for high pollen days right at home. If you have severe symptoms, a needle-less allergy test can pin-point your allergy and help you find the proper medications.
When asked Humphreys if the rain slowed up, would the pollen lighten up, Humpheys said, "The rain sets the tone. The tone for the season is pretty much set."
Humpreys said the easiest way to avoid harsh allergy symptoms is to avoid the things you're allergic to.