Here’s why your allergies are so bad this week

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In the last 24 hours, the pollen levels in Richmond have more than doubled.

That’s according to the team at the Allergy Partners of Richmond.

Now, people across the region are waking up to see their cars covered with pollen.

“My car has turned green and it’s normally silver,” said Boni Newall. “Because it’s sitting under the trees and it’s just a green film is over everything you can’t touch it.”

On Wednesday, the tree pollen count per cubic meter was around 1600. By Thursday the count was more than 3,600.

Dr. Michael Blumberg, an allergist with the Allergy Partners of Richmond, said that next weekend is usually when pollen is at its highest.

So this could be just the beginning.

“Thirty years ago when we started measuring pollen counts here in Richmond, they would begin in the beginning of April and end pretty much methodically April 30,” said Blumberg.

“Now we’re seeing it begin in February and the counts go into the first week of May — and they’re much higher than they were before.”

Yearly allergy sufferers are feeling the impact of the pollen counts this week, but with pollen counts this high — many more people than usual are dealing with symptoms.

“We are seeing people who are not allergic to these pollens come in now,” Dr. Blumberg said.

“People are breathing it in with every breath, so we’re talking about a really significant exposure.”

Dr. Blumberg told 8News his office is double booked this week and next week to see patients.

He adds that there are several effective over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms, but if anyone is having trouble breathing, that’s when they should seek out a doctor or specialist.

In the meantime, some who suffer from seasonal allergies say they are making plans to stay indoors until the pollen levels go down.

“[I’m] looking forward to, yes, the warm weather but I am also looking forward to the April showers,” said Troy Washington of Richmond.

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