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Coping with seasonal allergies

ILLINOIS -- The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming and the grass is beginning to turn green.
ILLINOIS -- The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming and the grass is beginning to turn green. But, for more than 50 million people with seasonal allergies, the change in seasons can be a tough transition. WCIA-3's Gary Brode has more on how to make spring a little more enjoyable in this week's Your Health.

"For those with seasonal allergies, they know it's here."

The snow has melted, baseball season is underway and school is almost over. It means spring is here.

For those with allergies, it means "runny nose, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, but the worst problem is how you feel. Headaches, tiredness. You can't sleep."

Allergies can also trigger asthma attacks and sinus infections. This year, people suffering from allergies may be grabbing a tissue a little sooner in the year and more often.

"We have high tree pollen count. The grass and mold are up as well as weeds, too, so it's all here."

Dr. John Zech is an allergy specialist. He believes the high amounts of snow this winter raised the levels. April is when many tree allergies pop up. And when those May flowers start growing, that's the pollen and grass allergies tend to be at their worst.

The bad news for those suffering, there is no cure. But, there are some tips which could help.

"If you have to go out and garden, you can wear sunglasses and dust pollen masks. When you come back in at night time, put your clothes in the shower and get in the shower and shampoo."

He recommends over-the-counter drugs, Claritin and Allegra throughout the season. But, for some, the itching and sneezing could continue until next winter.

"Spring and summer are bad here, but ragweed in the fall is usually terrible."

Dr. Zech says if over-the-counter drugs don't help, allergy shots are the next option.
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