Allergy season hits Mid-South early this year

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Spring is still a few weeks away, but it seems allergy season may be moving in earlier than normal this year.

"You can see the maples already blooming," arborist Terran Arwood said.

Arwood is a certified arborist for Woodland Tree Service. He's noticed plants are beginning to bloom a lot earlier.

"I would say we're about two to three weeks premature to when you typically start to see things open up," he said.

That means people's allergies are in full bloom too.

"Not only do we live in the allergy capital of the world, we live in the sinus capital of the world as well," Dr. Mark Castellaw said.

Castellaw is already seeing patients with allergy issues, which could result in more serious problems if left untreated.

"They're allergy issues. If they're not addressed, they will lead to secondary infections like sinus infections or even bronchitis," Castellaw said.

He recommends in addition to taking over-the-counter medications for your allergies you should also wear a mask if you're outside working so you don't ingest pollen.

Weather also plays a part in the early allergy season.

"So far one of the wettest Februarys on record," meteorologist Spencer Denton said.

With wet weather expected Tuesday night the problem could get worse.

Dr. Castellaw said the rain keeping the ground moist increases the risk for mold as well and hydrates the plants so they'll grow faster.

But rain could help in one aspect.

"We're in store for more so that is actually going to help some of the pollen out there," said Castellaw.

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