GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Spring has sprung!

As warmer temperatures bring people outdoors, they’ll have to face the season’s biggest challenge: pollen.

Doctors are warning people that allergy season is arriving earlier, could hang around longer and be even worse this year.

That’s especially true here in the Triad.

That’s right, your more-intense symptoms this spring aren’t all in your head. You could even call Greensboro an “allergy capital of America.”

According to an annual pollen report, Greensboro ranked as the 19th most challenging place to live for people who struggle with pollen allergies, and Winston-Salem isn’t far behind. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation made its ranking based on tree, grass and weed pollen counts, over-the-counter allergy medication use and the availability of board-certified allergists.

Pollen Report for 3/21/23

Patricia Williams, a Novant Health nurse practitioner, says that there are things you can do to help your symptoms on days when pollen is expected to be high.

“On those dry windy days, pollen is going to be a little higher,” she said. “Some things you might want to think about in the home is making sure you have those good filters on your AC and heating systems.”

In addition to over-the-counter medication, these are some tips that could help mitigate your exposure to pollen:

  • Check pollen counts and forecasts daily and try to plan activities on low pollen days
  • Keep your windows and doors shut at home
  • Remove your shoes and outerwear before stepping inside so you don’t track pollen in
  • Wear sunglasses to limit pollen getting into your eyes

There are plenty of allergy tracker options available for your smartphone, as well, that can tell you when to expect a high pollen day.