Blame the Polar Vortex: Allergy Season Could Be Worse Than Usual

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Don’t shoot the messenger here, people. TIME broke the bad news this week, that our polar vortex winter could leave allergy sufferers in dire straits come spring.


Ugh:

According to allergy experts, the record-setting snowfall in some regions and the lingering below-freezing temperatures (parts of the Midwest and the East Coast enjoyed another dumping of the white stuff in this first week of spring) could mean a late flowering for trees. That means that once the temperatures do warm up, pollinating trees will be busy catching up, spewing higher than average amounts of sneeze- and sniffle-inducing allergens into the spring air.

See, what usually happens is that the cold winter air tapers off and turns to warm spring weather gradually over the course of a few weeks. But this year, since the winter has dragged on for so long, experts think the eventual warm-up will happen much more quickly than usual, truncating the pollen-seeping process and making all the allergens come out at once. It's all still a big "if," but IF it happens, allergy sufferers (i.e. me) could be in trouble.

A UPenn doc gives some tips on how allergy sufferers can guard themselves over on TIME, so go read up ASAP.

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