Allergy sufferers prepare for a long season

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Despite colder temperatures Tuesday afternoon, would you believe winds are whipping up dust and high levels of tree pollen in this up and down winter and early spring?

'In St. Louis you can have tree allergy season which we`re starting with right now, anywhere from mid-February until mid to late March,' says Mark Dykewicz, Allergy Professor St. Louis University.

As trees are starting to bud, they`re releasing the pollens causing problems for many of us.

A rainy spring will keep the pollen counts down, but that will also bring up mold numbers.

Nationwide, warmer temperatures are causing an uptick in seasonal allergies.

'Stuffy runny, sneezy itchy nose,' says Dykewicz.  'You could have itchy throat and eyes can be bothersome with itchy watery red eyes and some people can get a cough.'

As if the sniffling or sneezing from early allergies isn't enough, don't forget it's still cold and flu season.

Allergy professor Mark Dykewicz says sufferers have antihistamines and nose sprays to help, but he recommends starting with a specialist.

'There is a worldwide increase in the number of allergens that are being produced and also allergy symptoms not only from things you breathe in, but also from foods and that can be a very ripe area for investigation,' says Dykewicz.

After tree pollen season that extends to early May, there`s grass pollen season until end of June and then ragweed in August.

So sufferers of allergies, you've got that to look forward to.

Which is not nice.