Springtime allergies are in full swing - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Springtime allergies are in full swing

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MARION, Ill. -- Spring brings sunny days, rain, and allergy season. Many people are already feeling the effects, but there are steps you can take to reduce the irritation.

The warm temperatures and beautiful weather may make it seem like a great idea to go outdoors, but not for everyone.

Carrie Eldridge, with Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department, explains, "They're all blooming, flowers are blooming, trees are blooming, it's pretty much anywhere, you can't avoid it unless you stay inside."

Have you ever wondered how much pollen sits in one tree? A video from Tennessee shows a massive cloud of pollen erupting as a tree falls to the ground.  

Dr. Jeff Lehman, an Allergist at SIH, says, "Right now we're dealing with peak tree pollen season, typically it used to start mid March but now with the mild winters we've been having, the last 3 to 4 years it's started in early February. And there's more pollen and it lasts longer so people are being affected quite a bit more."

If you're suffering from itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion there are many ways to get relief and minimize the symptoms.

Lehman explains, "You can do sinus rinses to remove pollen from you nose, take over-the-counter antihistamine sprays and then now you can buy over the counter nasal steroid sprays."

The pollen count is forecast to be in the high category for next 5 days. If you go outside, it will help if you change clothes and shower when you head back indoors.

Eldridge says, "Typically the worst time for pollen would be on a windier day because all that pollen is blowing, and on your dry days. The best time to go outside is after a really good rain, it reduces that pollen."  

Eldridge says HEPA filters and dehumidifiers can also help with seasonal allergies but if you aren't seeing any relief, call your doctor.

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