Signs that the allergy season is upon us are easy to see. All you have to do is step outside and see the yellow coating on cars and roads to know many people like Paula Kay are suffering.
"The burning eyes, the burning in the nose, it's hard to breathe when the pollen is up," Key explained.
And while the pollen is so thick you can actually see it coating things like the water and your cars, experts say it's not the pollen you see that's bothering you. It's the pollen that's coming from the trees.
"The pollen that causes the allergy symptoms are microscopic, and you won't see them but you can feel them, of course" said Dr. Patricia Lugar, Duke Asthma, Allergy and Airway Center. "Tree pollen is one of the number one causes of allergy symptoms."
Because tree pollen is airborne and can travel for miles, it affects many people and it's the reason Dr. Lugar's office is packed.
"During this time of year, it's mostly the tree pollens," Lugar said. "Currently oak is a big pollen producer and many of the other tress -- maple, box elder and hickory will be coming soon too."
And you may not be imagining things if you think this season is worse than last.
"We do measure the pollen, and we have noticed the counts are somewhat higher than they were this time last year," Lugar said.
She says tree pollen season ends in May but then grass pollen season begins. Because grass pollen is not airborne, it may not cause as much suffering.
People like Key can only hope that's the case.