MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (FOX 9) - People may notice their allergies acting up due to high pollen counts in Minnesota.
Minnesotans had been anxiously awaiting the gorgeous spring weather, but with sunny warm days also come plants and trees producing pollen.
"Oh my god, I had the whole nine yards. I had sniffing, coughing, runny eyes, runny nose -- that was the worst. And I tell you, it was really bad this year, really bad," said Maxine Lucas, who has been experiencing allergies over the last few weeks.
"The last three years were nothing compared to this," said Cindy Marks, whose allergies have also been acting up.
Pollen.com shows most of Minnesota is in the red for allergy levels, with a rating on Sunday of 9.9 out of 12. Sunday's top allergens for Minneapolis are ash, birch and oak.
"Last week, we had the heat, we had the humidity, we had the storms. All of a sudden, everywhere is green, and there's pollen everywhere," said Fox 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard.
Leonard said people won't be able to escape the pollen. If they open the windows, pollen will sweep in. They’ll also see the dust cover dark-colored cars.
"In a perfect world, we would have a light scattered rain at midnight to about 2 a.m. and that does something that we call scavenging. It quite simply washes the air, but instead, we have a very breezy, dry forecast," Leonard said.
As the trees bud and the flowers come out, doctors are feeling that impact with their patients.
"Runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, some post-nasal drainage," said Dr. Kim Tjaden, a family medicine doctor with CentraCare. "If folks have asthma, which has flared up by their seasonal allergies, we're seeing some asthma flares."
She recommends over-the-counter options like Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl or nasal steroids for anyone in need of relief.
Health officials warn that high winds, burning leaves or wildfires can also be irritating. Plus, doctors are seeing COVID-19 spread right now, so they’re asking anyone with those symptoms to get tested.