ST. LOUIS – Gusty winds are causing allergy sufferers to struggle with all the pollen blowing around in the air.

Our current allergens are the tree pollens being spread by Monday’s relentless winds.

“With these kinds of winds, we’re going to have really high volume of pollen in the air,” said Dr. Barbara Jost, an allergist with Associated Specialists in Medicine. “And then for us to breathe in. Those pollens will stick to the cornea. It’s a set-up for lots of really severe allergy symptoms right now.”

Jost says even those who don’t suffer from allergies can have a reaction on windy days. The wind creates a drying affect and carries additional irritants in the air.

“Dust particles, dirt, grit. Those things really just pour salt into the wound of allergies,” she said.

Keep your windows closed and to limit time outside if you can. If not, there are a few things you should do when you come inside for the day.

“Maybe using a wetting drop for the eye, removing contacts right away,” Jost said. “Many people find benefit from saltwater rinses. Nasal saltwater rinses.”

And don’t forget to keep your windows closed in your car.

“It’s already stirred up in the air and now you’re bringing those pollens right into your face at 50 miles per hour,” she said.

Jost says tree pollen season should settle down in about three weeks and then grass pollens will take over as the main allergen later in May into June. We’ll see a little break in July, but we’ll start feeling the effects of ragweed around Aug. 15.