CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Doctors say an estimated 35 million Americans suffer from allergies.
And with students in school now, there are a number of external and internal factors that can act together to create a "perfect storm" of asthma triggers.
Five year old Lily Lindgren is one of those students that suffers from fall and food allergies.
"I itch it a lot and it gets more redder," says Lily.
She is one of the many patients Dr. Maeve O'Connor sees at her practice.
The allergy specialist says there's a lot that's different about this fall's allergy season.
Number one according to the doctor is that the season started early.
"We can have a high allergy season typically in Charlotte 10 months of the year," said Dr. O'Connor.
For patients suffering from outdoor allergies fall can be a challenging time. Combine that with indoor allergens, it's the recipe for a serious issue.
"We can have exposures in school such as pet dander on classmates, the dry erase boards can also be a trigger and also food allergies," said Dr. O'Connor.
She says symptoms are worse leading to more sinus infections. And she's seeing more itchy, dry and watery eyes than in the past.
The doctor says try to stay a step ahead.
"The most important thing is to be educated," said D.O'Connor.
Take your medicine before your symptoms starts.
"Make sure what the triggers are, to have an action plan, to know what medications they need to take if they do have symptoms," added Dr. O'Connor.
And be prepared in case you a reaction.
If testing does identify allergic sensitization, a clinician can then advise parents on how to manage exposure to the allergens.
Doctors can then help you find the right management plan, whether it's just avoidance or medication.