By Sharon Chin

SAN MATEO (KPIX 5) – Dr. Andrew Engler has been busy at the Allergy and Asthma Clinic of San Mateo. Usually, late March through May are rough for people with pollen allergies, but this year, he said it’s more intense.

“There’s no such thing as a good spring here in Northern California, but unfortunately this spring has a lot of pollen and its making people uncomfortable and El Niño has definitely contributed,” Engler told KPIX 5.

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Engler said the allergy season didn’t start any earlier. But compared to past drought years, the ash and oak trees are in full bloom this spring. And grass pollen will follow later this month.

To help you avoid pollen, Engler suggests keeping your windows closed on windy days, change your clothes and shoes when you get home. Also, shower and wash pollen out of your hair before bed.

“Otherwise all that pollen will go from your hair into your pillow, into your sheets, and you’ll be rolling around in pollen all night,” Engler said.

The doctor recommends using medicine like antihistamines to prevent symptoms and not to wait until you get symptoms. He said the tips and over-the-counter medicine work with most people. If not, he recommends seeing your doctor.