COLUMBIA, S.C. — Sneezing, itchy eyes, a cough and sore throat ... allergy season is here.
Savannah Bays suffers from allergies every spring. "Usually, it will start with a runny nose," Bays said. "Usually, my nose will become completely stuffed to the point where I can't breathe."
Pollen season and its awful nasal drips are coming earlier and hitting harder this year. Unlike previous years, slightly warmer temperatures and a wet winter, is making the trees start pollinating much earlier
"Usually, when I start smelling pollen, that's when everything starts kicking in," Bays said.
Tanisha Cherry says her allergies are much worse this year. "I have been sneezing a lot more earlier in the year," Cherry said. "It was a big shocker to me, because they were a lot worse ... I was sneezing a lot more, coughing a lot more, it just wasn't normal."
Dr. Oscar Lovelace says this allergy season is predicted to be longer and worse because of the weather.
"The cell that mediates the allergic phenomena is called the mast cell, Lovelace said. "When an allergen attaches to that mast cell, the muscle lining of your respiratory tract ... the mast cell degranulates and releases histamine into your blood stream."
Dr. Lovelace suggests nasal steroids, which are now available over the counter.
Unfortunately for Yuki Wu, who was born in China, she says she's never had allergies before. "I am actually not an allergy person at all," she said. "Sometimes my nose is very itchy and I just keep sneezing. I never had this issue before I moved to South Carolina."
Doctors say wearing a mask will make a difference this spring as well.