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Aftermath Of Hurricane Sandy Making For Dreadful Allergy Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Six months after Superstorm Sandy, an unwelcome development is set to make the months to come miserable for allergy sufferers.

As CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez reported Monday night, one of the worst allergy seasons ever is expected this year.

All the signs are already there as the weather turns the corner to temperate conditions – nasal congestion, watery and itchy eyes, runny noses, and stuffed heads.

"This is a very severe allergy season," said allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett. "It's some of the worst pollen allergy levels in years."

Bassett said heavy rain in the fall, as well as Sandy, are to blame for the pollen surge.

"Those trees and pollenating plants -- they're very happy right now," Bassett said, "and they're producing prolific amounts of pollen."

"It just seems worse this year than ever before," said Frank Cuzzi of the Lower East Side.

Bassett said the pollen spike is bringing in patients such as Alyssa Bain, who have never complained of allergies before.

"The last couple weeks, I've been having really obnoxious allergies. At first I thought I was getting sick, which was really annoying because I got sick a couple times this winter," Bain said. "I guess it's just really bad this season. This is my first time ever experiencing allergies."

Other new patients have been coming in from Sandy-ravaged areas, where standing water caused overwhelming mold growth.

"Cough, respiratory symptoms -- they were affected by Sandy directly, and the aftermath may lead to more respiratory allergies," Bassett said.

And if allergy sufferers think they have it bad in late April, the bad news is that peak pollen season is still a few weeks away.

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