May is asthma and allergy awareness month and pharmacists say this year has been more severe than years past.

“This time of year can be brutal for a lot of people that suffer from allergies. The pollens are falling off the trees, they are coming out and it just is a very difficult time. You have the sneezing, the coughing, the watery eyes, all the symptoms that go along with the allergies,” said Sonny Hoskinson, assistant director of pharmacy at United Hospital Center.

We all get excited for the arrival of Spring but staying well when it turns nice out is harder than it looks. Hoskinson said that this time of year some people leave allergies untreated cause they mistake symptoms for a cold.

“You are having spells that are more severe than others and that is one of the determining things you can find that if you are indoors and in air conditioning that you don’t have the symptoms like you do when you are out in the air and out with the pollens,” added Hoskinson.

Right now is peak season for allergies and this year we could see symptoms hang around longer.

“Sometimes they aren’t as severe but this year seems to be a very bad year so this year I think they are going up into 4 or 5 weeks,” explained Hoskinson.

If you are heading outside to exercise or enjoy the outdoors, there are ways to lessen your symptoms.

“Number one, a lot of people like to leave their windows open. It is a beautiful time of year in the fresh air but if you suffer from allergies maybe turn on your air conditioning and change your furnace filters regularly,” said Hoskinson.

Around 6 million kids suffer from asthma and there is one summer camp in North Central West Virginia to help kids cope, Camp Catch Your Breath.

“Well I think they learn what the medications do and why they need to take them and they don’t need to feel like they are out on an island so to speak. They feel a part of the community, like they are not alone.”

Camp is at Jackson’s Mill in July. Head to for details.