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Allergy Season is in Full Swing

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There's something about getting outside in the spring, with the flowers, trees and warm weather.

Then there's the allergies.

Steve Noonan turned to shots to treat his hay fever. "In the morning I would get up and sneeze all the time."

Noonan is not alone, allergy doctors are busy, but Dr. Jeffrey Nugent says it's an average year so far. "For some people it's worse. If you're allergic to what's pollinating right now, which is particularly tree pollen, you're going to be really miserable right now."

And allergies to pollen can also make you sensitive to some foods. "People that are very allergic to birch pollen which is a tree that pollinates in the spring-- will have cross reactivity with fresh fruit such as apples, carrots or stone fruits: plums, peaches or cherries.

The same goes for latex allergies. "People will get itchy in the mouth from kiwi and avocado or certain types of fruits, and they're really allergic to latex."

Fortunately, there are things you can do right now to help alleviate your runny nose and itchy eyes. "The first line of defense for most people are the oral antihistamines...there's a variety of over-the-counter therapies you can try first, you can also talk to your primary care doctor about prescriptions, and if you're miserable, you can come and see us."

That's what finally drove Steve Noonan to the allergist. "I just got tired of people going 'are you okay?' It's about time to get treatment for it."

There is some good news if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

Dr. Nugent says a new therapy that involves putting a few drops of liquid under your tongue should be approved by the Food and Drug Administration soon. We'll let you know when it's available here.

For more information, go to http://www.pollen.com/allergy-weather-forecast.asp and http://www.weather.com/health/pollen/forecast

Written by Jennifer Burton

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