Allergies arrive with start of spring

April 1, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Doctors say if you are allergic to molds and grasses, hang on to your allergy medicine. While the tree season ends in April, grasses hit in May and June. When it warms up and rains, the molds will surface. Molds could be bad because the ground is already moist from all the snow we had.

It's April 1st and yes, Chicagoans are still bundled up. Despite cold temperatures and bare trees, pollen is the air, which means the spring allergy season has arrived.

Rhea Robinson's allergies are so bad, she takes shots once a week.

"I've been suffering from stuffy nose, sore throat, watery eyes," she said.

For the past three weeks, doctors' offices have been busy with spring allergy sufferers. The good news is the season began late because of the cold weather.

While it is hard to see, the trees are now budding, which means the pollen counts are high making it especially uncomfortable for people allergic to trees.

"If you spend time outdoors, wash your face when you come in rinse your nose with saline," said Dr. Mary Tobin Rush University Medical Center's Director of Allergy and Immunology.

Dr. Tobin says the key to getting your allergies under control is taking medication sooner rather than later.

"I think it is really important to start taking your medicine early in the season because that prevents the immune reaction from continuing to take it daily," she said.

If you don't get shots or have prescription medication there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies. Walgreens pharmacist Nancy Salmon says while the prices vary the medication does not.

"They are 100 percent equivalent, same active ingredient, cost effective no difference," she said.

Doctors say if you have been suffering on your own, start taking allergy medicine as soon as possible. Because of the bad winter, the spring allergy season did get off to a late start. But, according to the trees, spring is here.

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