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Doctors: 'Pollen Tsunami' Makes Allergy Season Start Earlier, Stick Around Longer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -  If you suffer from allergies,  all the sniffling and sneezing may last longer than your used to, and it might not just be seasonal.

Asari Beale is allergic to pollen.

"It's the itchy eyes, the sneezing," she said.

Frank Vitiello is suffering big time.

"Sneezing, runny nose, carrying the tissues around all the time," he said. "Really bad. I didn't think this was the time of year for allergies."

Dr. Cliff Bassett told CBS2's Cindy Hsu things are changing; allergy seasons are starting weeks earlier and they're sticking around.

"Longer allergy seasons because of climate change and global warming, we know it's a pollen tsunami," Dr. Bassett said.

The top outdoor allergies are to trees, grass and ragweed.

Along with all the outdoor allergies are the ones you get indoor, the top two being dust mites and pets.

Dr. Bassett says a lot of people have no idea they have allergies and now's the time they're going to feel the pain.

"In many of our patients, three out of four who have seasonal allergies have indoor allergies and they rev up in the months of October and November. With less ventilation in the homes, offices, windows are closed more exposure to indoor allergens," Dr. Bassett said.

Amparo Rivera didn't know she was allergic to anything until she brought home two dogs a couple years ago.

"I couldn't figure out why I couldn't breathe, it was like I would walk and it felt like my chest was closing in, my lungs it was horrible," Rivera said.

Rivera ended up having to give them to a friend after being tested. Results showed she was allergic to everything from pollen to mosquito bites.

"A mosquito bit me, and the mosquito, my whole throat swelled up and I ended up in the emergency room," Rivera said.

Turns out she also developed asthma and now she carries around inhalers, allergy medicine and gets allergy shots once a week.  She says getting tested may have saved her life.

An allergen skin test is quick and easy. No needles are involved and results usually only take about 10 minutes.

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