Allergens take control of Mid-Missouri

Allergists at University of Missouri Healthcare warn allergy sufferers to prepare for a miserable spring allergy season.

The heavy snowfall that blanketed Mid-Missouri this winter may be a distant memory but the effects of the wet winter will be felt by allergy sufferers long into the spring season.

Spring has sprung and for many allergy sufferers this will be a long and hard few months.

I always have a headache and my nose is running and sneezing and stuff like that," allergy sufferer Kendra Berendzen said.

Tree pollens and molds are two of the most common triggers for seasonal allergy sufferers.

University of Missouri Health Care allergist Dr. Al Barrier said if you find yourself sneezing, itching and coughing you might consider staying indoors in the morning.

"Being indoors, particularly in the morning, the actual pollen release, the mold spore release is in the morning and so people who are really allergic learn that they don't want to go out much in the morning, they want go out in the afternoons, Barrier said.

Seasonal allergies in Missouri typically run from March to May.

This year we're seeing higher amounts of tree pollen because our heavy winter snowfall brought more moisture than normal allowing the trees to blossom even more.

"The season will be not fun for those who are really allergic," Barrier said.

Megan Fletcher works at Whaley's Pharmacy.

"Our pharmacy has been busy with Claritin, Zyrtec," Fletcher said.

She said most of the people that come into Whaleys with allergies have all the common symptoms.

"Itchy eyes, runny nose kind of stuff," Fletcher said.

Dr. Barrier said most people can take over the counter medication but there are some exceptions.

People who are already allergic and more intensely allergic may find that they actually need to come in and have their immune system analyzed to figure out what they're allergic to and then undergo some of those treatments as well," Dr. Barrier said.

Mary Hemmel hopes for a short allergy season.

"As soon as the season's over, then I'm fine again," allergy sufferer Mary Hemmel said.

But Dr. Barrier offered little hope.

"I would suspect that it's going to be as bad or worse than last year and last year was the worst year for allergy in Missouri in 37 years," Barrier said.

Allergists at MU said a new form of therapy called allergy drops is helping people tolerate the outdoors.

The allergy drops are a self administered liquid medication you can put under your tongue once a day to get rid of common allergy symptoms such as runny nose and sneezing.

The liquid is formulated with small amounts of allergen extracts unique to each patients allergic profile.

Have you noticed your sneezing or coughing more lately because of allergies?

What do you do to feel better?