Weather Stirring up Pollen: Winter Allergies

If you have been sneezing, coughing, or having itchy eyes you are not alone. Texomans are suffering through winter allergy season, and allergist say the weather is making the situation worse.

Sneezing, coughing, and watering itchy eyes are all signs that allergy season is still in full swing during the winter season. Mac Fitzsimmons, Medical Doctor who specialized in allergies comments, "Pollen count doesn't exists by itself. It goes in with the weather conditions and the immediate conditions of the over all average temperature. It all ties together."

Doctor Fitzsimmons says right now cedar trees are in peak blooming season and the windy temperatures are carrying pollen throughout the air. He also adds when temperatures rise  trees will pollinate. "As the soil temperature starts to warm up that's a signal to the plants that spring is coming, then they start to get ready to pollinate. If we have a mild winter the ground warms up a little quicker so the plants think it's spring time early."

But allergies are not the only concern. A drastic climate change can also bring upper respiratory infections to people who suffer from allergies. Doctor Fitzsimmons says, "Our rapid temperature changes seem to set people up where they're more likely to have sinus infections."

And this time of year garden experts say plants are blooming earlier before spring because we have had a mild winter. Doug Smith of Smith's GardenTown Farms says, "The warm winter that we've had, the plants are going to break dormancy earlier then they normally would. The cold that we've been getting hasn't been severe enough that would keep them from breaking dormancy. They will be breaking dormancy this year sooner than they normally would."

Allergist say cedar trees start to bloom in late October and their peak pollination time is December through February. With a mild winter oak and elm trees can start to pollinate late February.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6