You don't have to look outside to see that spring has begun, you can just check the nearest doctor's office or pharmacy. With plants starting to bloom, pollen is in the air, and Greater Meridian Health Clinic Pharmacist Robert Bowles says that allergy season got off to an early start this year and that they started seeing patients with symptoms two weeks ago.
"It seems to have started a little earlier, I guess due to the little bit of a warmer winter we've had, but it will run it's usual course."
While people from all age groups suffer, Bowles says they see elderly people and small children seem to have the worst symptoms. He recommends trying to take care of the symptoms as soon as you notice them.
"Try a low dose, short-acting antihistamine to try to stop the runny nose and sniffles. You can usually get those in over-the-counter products."
If those over the counter treatments don't seem to help, make sure you get in to see your doctor as soon as you can, because these seemingly harmless allergies can lead to more serious illnesses.
"That can lead to sinusitis which can create the sore throat, and then potentially you could have problems with your upper respiratory system, and that can trigger bronchitis attacks. The worst-case scenario would be pneumonia."
Of course we all want to try to avoid allergy symptoms in the first place, and there is something you can do.
"When you are out and about, you may want to wear a mask if you feel that you are susceptible, especially on dry, windy days. It seems to help folks out quite a bit."