Can the rain actually make allergy season worse?

Posted at 12:26 AM, Mar 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 00:26:13-04

Hampton Roads, Va.--Spring doesn't start till next week, but you wouldn't know it if you suffer from allergies.

Normally rain helps the pollen problem, but this time it’s making things worse.

Talisa Arnold from Virginia Beach says her allergies have been bad before, but this year, they've been worse and the weather hasn't helped at all.

In fact, the mild weather we've had has already caused plants to bloom and made some of us sneeze and sniffle much earlier than usual.

It`s only a matter of time before pine trees produce that yellow and green pollen all over our cars.

But doctors say it`s not the pollen from the trees that makes us sick. It`s usually those tiny pollen particles that we can`t see.

Dr. Craig Koenig of the Allergy and Asthma Specialists says he's seen an uptick in sick patients since the middle of February as the pollen count has gone up.

“Once you get that warm weather where these trees kind of come out of hibernation, once they`re out of hibernation, the course is set,” says Dr. Koenig.

Rain can help ease allergy symptoms for a short period of time, but Dr. Koenig says the rain can also make it worse.

“Patients will come in and say, hey, I actually felt better during the storm or during the system. But there`s a price to be paid because once you give these trees some water and moisture, then afterwards, they`re going to pick up their pollen production,” says Dr. Koenig.

And though spring is just a week away, Dr. Koenig says this is just the beginning of a long allergy season.