SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Spring doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, but people throughout the Bay Area with allergies are already suffering.

Dr. James Wolfe, a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University, said the early start to allergy season does not necessarily mean it will end early. The lack of rain in the Bay Area this winter could be to blame.

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“January through April and May, when there’s very little rain actually, is when you have the highest pollen count. That’s what we’ve had in the last few weeks with very high Juniper and Cedar counts making people miserable,” said Wolfe.

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Wolfe said pollen from oak is still to come in April, and high pollen counts from grass are set for May.

“We have the highest grass counts really in the United States if not, the world. Here and up in the Sacramento area are just sky high pollen counts from grasses,” he said.

According to Wolfe, the good news is that today’s non-drowsy, over-the-counter antihistamines are very effective, although some may find it necessary to go to the doctor.

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