CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As small tree buds and blossoms coat tops of cars and line city streets, those eager for spring rejoice.
Those suffering from allergies sneeze. Or sniffle.
With the first warm spell of the year, trees finally release the pollen they had been holding for six or eight months, according to Dr. Chandra Kumar, the medical director at Charleston's Asthma and Allergy Center.
"Every year, we say it's worse," Kumar said. "But it's this time of year - it's the right time in the first few warm days where trees release pollen in much bigger quantities."
Maple and oak trees are shedding the most pollen right now, according to Kumar. Other trees will fall in line in the next three weeks or so.
"Pollen is regional - so certain places may be worse than others. They may be worse one year or another. But this is the time of year when it comes together. There's a lot of pollen in the air," he said. "You'll see that as we go along and get warmer days; it will peak, then eventually start tapering off."
Tree pollen is prominent in the first four to six weeks of spring and will begin to recede around mid-May. Grass pollen will increase in May and June and be prevalent the middle of July. Ragweed will spew forth toward the end of July.
Allergy sufferers are seeking relief.