MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You may feel your allergies have been hitting you harder. Some doctors say it’s not just in your head.

The prolonged winter followed by the rapid warm-up caused pollen counts to rise quickly.

With the quick output, doctors say even some people who aren’t typically sufferers found themselves miserable.

In mid-June and into the summer, grass pollen and outdoor mold counts are especially high, according to Dr. Julia Montejo, an allergist at Fairview Clinics in Minnesota.

“It’s been definitely a very high demand,” she said, “people wanting to be seen right away.”

Montejo said as people spend more time outside, they’ll be exposed to much more pollen.

The good news is that there is help.

“I just deal with it. I take my Claritin or I go buy over the counter,” said Darnell White, an allergy sufferer. “I carry it like a visa in the summer time. I don’t leave home without it.”

Claritin is a kind of antihistamine. Also on the list of summer allergy relief are sinus rinses and nasal sprays. Avoiding triggers is also very helpful.

According to Montejo, avoidance is key.

She recommends seeing an allergist to get allergy testing in order to find out exactly what your triggers are.

“Absolutely. If you find an allergist, you’ll find relief. That’s one of our slogans,” she said.

As for how to prevent bringing pollen indoors, Montejo says keep the windows closed. And when you come in from outdoors, take a shower and change your clothes.

As for not spreading mold and dust, she says it’s better to have central air than window or overhead fans.

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