NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – It’s 80 degrees and sunny in February, a perfect day to get out and play.

Unless, like Stephen Blakemore, going out to recess as a child made you miserable.

“It was terrible,” Blakemore said. “I’d wake up and couldn’t open my eyes cause it’d be like crusted shut, it was horrible. I would like sleep with a washcloth by my bed so I could wipe them and they would open again,” Blakemore told WAVY.

Dry windy weather blows pollen into the air.

It also blows up the phones at Allergy Partners Of Hampton Roads in Newport News.

“Yes, yes, so we have a high volume of patients calling us this week with symptoms of their allergies,” Dr. Eric Karlin said.

Karlin recommends you close your doors and windows, shower as soon as you come inside to wash pollen away, and try over the counter antihistamines.

“Examples would include, Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, or Xyzal. Those can be effective for sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, but they are not effective at nasal congestion,” he said.

For that congestion he recommends a steroid nasal spray such as Flonase, but warns that it must be used daily and typically takes a few weeks to work.

None of it worked for Blakemore.

“I was like, OK, I’ve got to get something else, like this isn’t working currently,” Blakemore said.

Karlin said people like Blakemore should see a board certified allergist for skin testing.

“So we typically recommend allergen immunotherapy, which is the subcutaneous, so allergy shots,” Karlin said.

Blakemore has been getting allergy shots for a couple years and it’s made a world of difference.

“I’m actually – I’m fine right now,” he said.

And, he’s able to enjoy being outside on a beautiful spring day.