MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Pollen season is in full-swing across the Lowcountry. For many, that means more cleaning, more sneezing, and more illnesses.

“We’re in that [pollen] high range and I would anticipate over the next couple weeks to cross over into that very high range,” says Dr. Lindsey Stoltz Steadman, an allergist with Charleston Allergy and Asthma.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Megan James agrees:

“We are in a fairly dry stretch of our forecast and what that’s going to do is – that lack of rain, that lack of taking pollen out of the air – that really lets those pollen counts go up higher,” says James.

Lowcountry experts say the pollen buildup can hit people like a ton of bricks and cause a variety of symptoms.

“Nasal congestion, runny nose, lots of sneezing, postnasal drainage or postnasal drip down the back of your throat, sinus pressure,” says Dr. Steadman.

One of the most popular questions Dr. Steadman says she’s hearing this year: how do I know if it’s allergies or COVID-19?

“If you have a fever, you need to worry about those infections,” says Dr. Steadman. “Allergies do not cause fevers, so that’s usually my first differentiating point.”

Charleston Allergy and Asthma says if you’re suffering from what you believe to be allergies but haven’t been diagnosed in the past, they recommend seeing an allergist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan moving forward.