LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The warm weather has started to cause problems for people with allergies in the Southland.

“The last couple weeks have been a little rough,” Thomas Hobson said.

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Hobson, who has struggled with allergies since he was a child, says he has been dealing with stuffy noses and watery eyes for as long as he can remember.

However, he typically gets a break from those symptoms in winter, but not this year.

Allergist Robert Eitches has seen a sizable increase in office visits this week, something he attributes to the unseasonably warm weather, which in turn causes trees and grass to pollinate.

“The pollen is microscopic, and it can travel miles, and it gets in the air, and from the air it gets into your nose, and then causes swelling your nose,” Eitches said.

“It can also cause systemic things, it can also cause itching and redness of the eyes, the throat gets scratchy and sore, and it can even affect the chest,” he added.

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The environment for allergies has only been made worse by the recent rain the Southland has seen over the past couple of months.

“You have wet weather, then you have more growth, and from that then you have more pollen in the air,” Eitches said.

Eitches recommends those who are prone to allergies close their windows, avoid being outside in the early mornings, exercise indoors and to shower when returning home from the day.

But how do you know if you are suffering from a winter cold or allergies?

“If you are itchy or your nose is running, or your ears are bothering you, or your eyes are itchy, then that’s usually an allergy,” Eichel said.

However, “A cold or a cold-flue type virus is usually more pain, and usually starts with a sore throat,” he added.

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If the weather cools down, the doctor says that most people suffering from allergies will see some relief.