Long winter could mean more intense allergy season

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WOODLAND PARK, N.J. (AP) - Winter may unofficially be over, but there may not be much relief in sight just yet for allergy sufferers: Experts say a shortened spring due to the long winter may create a more intense allergy season.

Some allergists in New Jersey say they’ve already seen a noticeable increase in patients as the weather has gotten warmer.

“It’s pretty bad. I’ve seen a 15-percent increase since last year, and we were really busy last year,” Jay Kashkin, an allergist in Fair Lawn, told The Record ((http://bit.ly/1grYDDh). -

On the bright side, there’s the possibility that a quick cold snap when trees are blossoming could provide some relief. Lewis Ziska, an ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told the newspaper that it could be an all-or-nothing allergy season.

“My guess is it will be all or nothing. Either we are going to have a very intense pollen season or not much of a season at all,” Ziska said.

Allergists say that even if climate trends point to higher pollen counts over time, allergy sufferers have access to more over-the-counter medications than they did 20 or 25 years ago.

Children become more susceptible as they get older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 10 children are susceptible up to age 4, but that the rate increases to one in five between ages 10 and 17.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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