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Problems springing from allergies already

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Posted at 1:06 PM, Mar 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-21 13:07:19-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) Spring is officially here, and with so too have allergies officially sprung, for those who suffer.

Now that plants are blooming earlier than usual and all that pollen is spilling into the air, allergy symptoms have appeared; watery eyes, scratchy throat, drippy nose.

Area doctors said they've already seen a big upswing in people suffering allergy symptoms coming through the doors for help.

"We're definitely seeing more patients coming in--probably about a week ago--which is earlier than usual, said Dr. Scott Greenfield.

Doctors said that if you suffer symptoms, it’s best to avoid outdoor activities in the daytime. They even suggest wearing a mask and protective eyewear.

The worst thing you can do is to open your windows to air your house out, that just lets more pollen in.

The city of Richmond has been named one of the 50 worst cities for allergy suffers.

Richmond placed 46th on the list, which was put out by the Asthma and Allergy foundation of America.

They ranked the cities based on pollen scores, along with the amount of allergy medication prescribed and bought by residents.

Knoxville Tennessee was named the allergy capital of the nation.

In 2011, Richmond placed number one asthma capital, by the same foundation, in part because of allergy irritants.

The foundations said the ranking was due to a number of factors including a higher than average pollen score, continued poor air quality, a lack of public smoking bans, high poverty and uninsured rates, and others.