OKAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – These warm January days have been nice, but come with a cost for many allergy sufferers.

Cedar pollen reached the high category this week, leading to some sneezing, itching and wheezing.

This is part of a wintertime allergy trend local experts are seeing.

It may be winter, but there have been a lot of people coming through the doors at the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic especially with our cedar pollen lately.

“This is the time of year that a few years back, we didn’t seem to have as much volume but I think the cedar has definitely made a difference in how busy we are this time of year,” said Dr. Dean A. Atkinson.

Atkinson has been with the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinc for nearly 30 years.

He says over the last decade or so that things have changed.

“There’s no question that, you know, there’s been a global trend in warmth and in us not as much as actually in the to the north to the northeast,” Atkinson said. 

He says while that region has seen longer warm periods of warm weather, we have as well.

“Here it’s actually lengthened by about six days,” said Atkinson. “We don’t have as much break as we used to.”

Any time it warms up, Atkinson says the pollen count goes up.

His best advice – keep on keeping your allergy medicine in stock.

“There’s a lot of good antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Allegra, and there’s also nasal sprays that are helpful and used regularly,” said Atkinson. “So and then there’s eyedrops that are also helpful for those issues.”

Atkinson says if you have an itchy nose, eyes and/or sneezing, you likely have allergies.
If it’s just stuffiness and drainage, it could be a virus.