It's only the beginning of March, but spring allergies are already on the rise.
Over at his office at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, Dr. Clifford Bassett said he's "already seeing a tenfold increase in the volume of phone calls of people complaining of allergies and allergy-like symptoms."
The reason for all those early calls? This more-or-less comfy, mild winter that many of us have enjoyed so far.
Seasonal allergies develop when the body’s immune system overreacts to something in the environment during a particular time of year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Tree pollen is a usual culprit: What typically starts triggering people in late April or early May -- pollen from juniper, cedar, alder, elm and maple, for example -- started blowing around as early as mid-February.
"Any season where the late winter weather is warmer than expected, we’re going to see very happy root systems of plants and trees," Bassett told HuffPost. "Now with the early thawing, we’re starting to see what I will believe is a very vigorous, robust pollen season. Mother Nature is getting into high gear."
What does this mean for you? Well, if you're feeling hit by allergy-like symptoms, or you know you have a good chance of being susceptible soon, you need to protect yourself, Bassett advises.
Here's how (tap here to enlarge):