BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Another health warning as an especially bad allergy season hits Maryland hard. Doctors are seeing a spike in cases–and it may be a result of that polar vortex we dealt with this winter.

Christie Ileto has more on what’s being called the “pollen vortex.”

If surviving winter’s brutal blast wasn’t enough, allergy sufferers are barely getting by this spring.

“The worst part of it is the sneezing, the sniffing and the runny nose,” said Jim Connolly.

He isn’t alone. Dr. Baruch Friedman says many Marylanders are on track for a nasty allergy season.

“We’ve seen a much higher number of calls over these last couple of weeks,” he said. “We’ve had an incredibly prolonged and severe winter. What’s now happening is we’re getting the seasons coming together.”

Health experts say because of the polar vortex, many of the trees here in Maryland bloomed later and what that means for people who have allergies is that they will be experiencing tree and grass allergies at the same time.

“There’s a lot of grass; there’s a lot of pollen,” said allergy sufferer H.R. Cook. “The seasons are kind of mixed up this year.”

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, between 40 and 50 million Americans are affected by allergies. Eight percent of adults suffer from pollen allergies, including hay fever.

“Miserable. It’s hard to focus sometimes,” said Ronnie Lindo.

But with Mother Nature to blame, all allergy sufferers can do is weather the pollen storm.

Doctors recommend those with allergies consider allergy medications or injections to help build immunity and reduce allergic reactions.


By Christie Ileto
May 19, 2014