WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Each week, DC News Now will speak with doctors in the DMV about health issues that are going around and impacting all residents.

Bethesda-based, director of Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Murray Ramanathan, is also an allergy expert.

He said to brace yourself if you suffer from a cough, runny nose and itchy eyes, because allergies aren’t going away now that summer is here.

“What’s really interesting in the allergy world is that we have not been able to predict how long allergy season lasts,” he said. “Allergy seasons are longer than ever, primarily due to climate change, global warming, higher temperatures, air pollution, all the things that affect the amount of allergen we see. It also adds to the unpredictability of what we see also.”

Ramanathan also said people who’ve never suffered allergies before may be experiencing symptoms this summer.

“We don’t know the exact answer why, but people can become susceptible at any point,” he said. “You have people that traditionally grew up with allergies, but you also have people that are susceptible to the environment, whether that be allergens or particulates or other things that are in the environment they can react to.”

Ramanathan said there are ways to alleviate allergy symptoms such as over the counter allergy medications, nasal sprays, antihistamines or saline washes for the nose. Check with our doctor before using any of these medications, he said.

He also said with the amount air pollution residents are seeing, in part due to the Canadian wildfires, the allergy season may likely last longer compared to other years.