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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

The unusual weather is having an effect on Mother Nature, and that's sending more people to doctors' offices with itchy, runny noses and watery eyes earlier than usual.

Eddie Moore, 2, is in Children's Hospital getting allergy tests. And this year his mother has noticed the miserable symptoms earlier than normal.

'His eyes get swollen like, he has pink eye. His eyes are dripping with watery and itching. He's very irritable,' said his mother Kenisha Guillard.

His doctor says Moore is not alone.

'I would say that our office has probably gotten twice the usual number of calls. (Patients have) itchy, drippy, sneezy, type symptoms, red, itchy, watery eyes and that's primarily from the tree pollen that's flying through the air,' explained Dr. Ken Paris, an allergy and immunology specialist in the pediatrics department at LSU Health Sciences Center. He practices at Children's Hospital.

He's especially concerned about asthmatics.

'What we worry about is our kids with asthma. So kids with asthma can have an increase in symptoms from exposure to these tree pollens and so those kids really need to be seen and have their asthma action plans tuned up,' Dr. Paris advised.

Dr. Paris says allergy season has reached its peak early this year because we didn't have freezes in the winter and we're having warmer temperatures sooner, so the Oak and Elm and Pecan trees are ready to reproduce, sending its pollen out all over the city.

Dr. Mike Wasserman is seeing the same problem in Metairie.

'It's actually been a terrible three or four weeks. I'm seeing all sorts of children, from very young to teenagers and everybody in-between primarily with nasal and eye symptoms,' said Dr. Wasserman, who is a pediatrician at Ochsner for Children.

What's so interesting is this time, even if you don't have allergies, you may still have a health problem. That's because the pollen count is so high in the air that just the shear number of particles are going to get into your throat and cause irritation.

Doctors say treat the symptoms and continue with your normal routine.

'Allergies aren't contagious, so your child can and should be in school. Your child can and should be able to participate in all sorts of sports. We want your child outside and playing and doing all the normal things,' said Dr. Wasserman.

Doctors say the best treatments for children and adults are to try to avoid the pollen, use over-the-counter or prescription medications for the symptoms, or get shots to desensitize your immune system.

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