You're Not Imagining It: Your Allergies Really Are Worse This Year

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Pollen is actually pretty beautiful, when it's not making your eyes itch and your sinuses swell.

It's not all in your head. This year's allergy season really is an exceptionally bad one.

There's a few things you should know: first of all, allergies are on the rise for the overall population and long-term climate change is affecting allergens in our area. But this year's intensity is mostly due to the stop-and-go end to our winter, a short-term weather fluke.

Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergist in Springfield, New Jersey, and a professor at Rutgers' Center for Environmental Prediction, explains the difference between those long- and short-term effects. He also advises: check the actual pollen count instead of the pollen index and adjust your time spent outdoors accordingly.