RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- If you have been experiencing itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing - you are not alone.
Allergy season is upon Central Virginia and experts say it may be the worst in years.
Some are even calling it the "Pollen Vortex" as a play on words to the phrase "Polar Vortex" from this past winter.
But the two phrases may be linked as some allergists attribute bad allergies to the long winter, which delayed trees that were supposed to bloom weeks ago from blossoming.
Now, those trees are blooming along with other plants that always bloom in Mid April.
On Monday, Richmond's allergy rating measured a 11.3, that was one of the most severe on the East Coast. For perspective, allergy ratings only go up 12.
"It is going to get worse before it gets better," Dr. Ananth Thyagarajan, an allergist tells CBS 6.
"We can't change biology, the same number of pollen is going to come out it is just going to come out in a shorter period of time," Dr. Thyagarajan said.
In addition to taking some pills from the pharmacy, helpful advice for dealing with allergies include closing windows and taking baths or showers after being outside.
Of course Dr. Thyagarajan recommends seeing an allergist to find out what specific allergy you might have.
"When you know what your allergic too you can do some of the avoidance strategies," Dr. Thyagarajan said.
The good news is forecasted rain is expected to make pollen symptoms better this week.
The bad news is the worst is yet to come - after all some trees haven't bloomed at all and grass allergies haven't even started.