Warm weather causing allergy symptoms earlier than normal this year

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 10:57 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As flu season winds down, other illnesses are already on the rise.

Many people are reporting feeling the symptoms of spring allergies in Feb.

A health expert from Sentara RMH said the warm weather and strong winds the Valley has experienced in recent weeks are causing the early onset of allergies.

“Things are starting to bloom, so we’re seeing elm and juniper pollen counts rise right now,” Dr. Jennifer Derby, a physician at Sentara Timber Way said.

There are some ways to mitigate allergy symptoms.

“You want your nasal rinse, your nasal steroid, and your non-sedating antihistamine if you’re really having bad allergies to kind of hit it from all three sides,” Dr. Derby said.

However, she added if the congestion doesn’t clear within a few days, it could lead to other medical problems.

“Bacteria love to grow, and they love to eat it; so if we’re not getting it out we can wind up with a secondary bacterial infection,” Dr. Derby said.

Many doctor’s offices are seeing an increase in stomach bugs recently, but there are some medicines Dr. Derby said can help.

“I don’t recommend going to grab immediately that Imodium. What I recommend is like a Pepto-Bismol and a Metamucil. Metamucil kind of helps to thicken things up, and Pepto-Bismol helps to coat your stomach,” she said.

She said another side effect can come from the stomach bug.

“C. Diff. Colitis and that is when we use too many antibiotics -- the only thing that kills it is soap and water, so you can’t just use hand sanitizer and kill the C. Diff. Colitis you actually have to wash with soap and water,” Dr. Derby said.

Dr. Derby said if symptoms get severe or a fever lasts for more than 72 hours you should see a doctor