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Warm Spell Means Early Start To Allergy Season For Many

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It looks like the groundhog was wrong about an early Spring, but this long stretch of warm weather could forecast trouble for allergy sufferers.

Dr. Sindhura Bandi, an allergy and immunology specialist at Rush University Medical Center, said the weather already has brought out allergens for some patients, because it's been too warm to snow, and rain carries mold and pollen spores.

"So, after a rainy day, typically one or two days after, there might be a dispersal of more mold," she said.

Bandi said the warmth also has jump-started tree pollination, meaning those with allergies are likely to have a longer season of suffering, unless we get some more real winter weather in our future.

"If we don't end up having another snow or frost, what that will mean for allergy sufferers is that they're going to have a longer season of their spring allergies," she said.

If you do have spring allergies, Bandi suggested you begin taking your medication right away.

As tempting as it is to let some fresh air into your home, she also suggested you keep the windows closed to lessen the spread of pollen.

Other tips include taking a shower and changing your clothes after you've been outside.

"If you're going to be spending an extensive time outdoors – especially for kids who are running around in the grass – as soon as you come in, rather than sitting down on the couch, hanging out, go ahead and take a shower, because then you're lessening the likelihood that you're dispersing the pollen in the home," Bandi said.

Bandi said she's seeing more patients whose seasonal allergies aren't seasonal anymore; they're year-round.

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