NEW YORK (WABC) -- The flowers are blooming in Central Park, which is a sign that allergy season is already here, and it's longer than ever before.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allergy seasons now start 20 days earlier and have 21% more pollen than three decades ago.
"It's so unfortunate with seasonal allergies," said Dr. Eugene Vortsman of Long Island Jewish Medical Center. "While everyone gets to enjoy that springtime and that summer, some of these people are really suffering."
Vortsman is an emergency room physician at LIJ.
"Really what's going on is exposure to seasonal things like pollen and dander ends up giving them this full body inflammatory reaction right so they're just achy," Vortsman said.
More pollen could mean exacerbated symptoms.
"They started to kick in a lot," said Westbury resident Juliana Alloi. "I just get really stuffy nose and headaches and everything."
Allergists say a mix of climate change and more carbon emissions in the atmosphere have led to plants having a longer growing season, pushing up the pollen levels.
So, what's the best way to treat your allergies? Dr. Vortsman recommends using a humidifier, clean of your surfaces more often, and take over-the-counter drugs like Zyrtec and Benadryl.
He also says a newer approach is taking an allergy shot.
"It's not something to calm down your immune system," he said. "It's actually more like telling your body, hey this is going to give you really small doses of the thing that you're sensative to and then it'll say hey, stop reacting to this."