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Allergy season has arrived in CT. Here are some tips to feel better

FILE: Pine pollen resembling fallen snow is power-washed in Foxborough, Ma. in 2012.
John Tlumacki
Boston Globe / Getty
FILE: Pine pollen resembling fallen snow is power-washed in Foxborough, Mass., in the spring of 2012.

Above-average temperatures and a lack of snow this winter mean seasonal allergies could arrive earlier for some Connecticut residents.

Tree pollen is the main culprit for spring seasonal allergies, and physicians are already seeing patients with symptoms, said Dr. Ryan Steele, an allergist with the Yale School of Medicine.

“People, as well as plants, are confused with this unseasonable weather,” Steele said.

Five of the six New England states saw record-high temperatures in 2022, part of a bigger trend driven by climate change. This year, Connecticut had its warmest January on record.

Steele said the good news is there are non-medicinal steps people can take to improve allergy symptoms.

What can allergy sufferers do to feel better?

One thing Steele recommends is using a sinus rinse with sterile water.

“At the end of the day, those [help] to clear away both mucus and allergens that may have accumulated inside the nose to really decrease the allergic triggers,” Steele said.

Here are some other tips:

  • Take a shower and wash your hair in the evening, not the morning, so that you don’t bring pollen into your bed.
  • Leave any exterior clothing like hats, jackets and shoes in the garage or by the front door. 
  • If your home or car has air conditioning, turn it on instead of opening windows. 
  • Download a free pollen counter app to your phone to keep track of pollen levels throughout the day and stay indoors when pollen levels get high. 
  • Wear a mask when mowing the grass.
Jennifer Ahrens is a producer for Morning Edition. She spent 20+ years producing TV shows for CNN and ESPN. She joined Connecticut Public Media because it lets her report on her two passions, nature and animals.