Are you sneezing? Nose runny? Eyes watering? If you've lived in North Carolina a minute or two, you know it's allergy season.
The main culprit right now is tree pollen.
"Tree pollen will be increasing steadily throughout March until May at peak levels, continuing throughout the summer," said Dr. Patricia Lugar, an allergy and immunology specialist with Duke Health.
Dr, Lugar said pollen is suspended in the air on hot, dry days typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pollen counts are low on cold, rainy days, but the wind can carry it for miles.
Dr. Lugar said the yellow dust on your car right now is pine pollen but other tree pollens are there and many of those you can't see.
Dr. Lugar said allergy symptoms start with sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose followed by congestion and sore throat. Allergies may also get better or worse depending upon your exposure.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 symptoms tend to start with sore throat, fatigue, headache and congestion.
How do you fight it? Dr. Lugar says there are two main ways: