Allergy season arrives early after mild winter



PITTSBURGH -- Above average temperatures are raising pollen counts in the Pittsburgh area, and local doctors said they’re seeing more allergy patients than usual.

Allegheny General allergy doctors said they’re seeing about 20 percent more patients in March than this time last year.

Allegheny General Hospital has a machine that sits on top of its North Side building that collects pollen. Each morning a staff member collects the pollen and tallies it.

“It’s an explosive onset as soon as the pollen hits the air, which it did in almost one day,” Allegheny General Hospital Allergist Dr. David Skoner said. “These people start to develop symptoms very quickly.”

Skoner recommends five tips to help deal with the symptoms.

Pollination of the plants generally occurs in early morning. If you are going to be active outdoors, it’s better to do so later in the day.

Keeping the windows closed and running air conditioning in your house and car is also recommended.

Another suggestion is to run air purifiers, especially in bedrooms.

Pollen travels on clothes and hair, so showering before bed is a good idea as well.

Lastly, it is not a good idea to hang clothing outside to dry on high pollen days.

Allegheny General Hospital provides daily pollen counts. Contact Asha Patel ( for more information.