High levels of pollen lead to winter allergies

Posted at 7:20 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 19:20:17-05

Stephanie Lazo has battled allergies for years. Lately, they've really been bothering her.

"I'm constantly sneezing. I have tissues at my desk," she explains.

Her doctor, Steven Schrager at Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of South Florida in Delray Beach, says tree pollen counts are way up.

According to, which issues a daily allergy report, pollen levels in Delray Beach today were high, at 9.8. They're expected to reach 10.1 tomorrow.

You may have seen pollen accumulate on your car windshield.

Schrager says the unseasonably rainy weather is confusing trees and they're pollinating when they normally don't, adding to the misery

"I do notice a difference," Lazo explains. "I get stuffier and I sneeze all the time now."

Schrager  says most people can turn to over the counter medicines like antihistamines and decongestants. He recommends the elderly consult with a doctor before using those medicines.

He says washing your nose with a saline solution every night can help clear the irritants.

"It helps to get all the pollen and day-to-day chemicals out of the nose," he explains.

But for people with allergies, this is just the beginning. Schrager says typical spring time allergies from grass and weeds should start picking up in March.

If your allergies continue to flare, Schrager recommends seeing your doctor. If necessary, a specialist can conduct a test and see if immunotherapy is a good option for you.