SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Warmer weather is slowly making its way toward Missouri and with warmer weather comes pollen.

Kody Johnson, a family nurse practitioner at Missouri Ozarks Community Health says allergy season is different for everyone. However, he says there are ways to help navigate this year’s allergy season with ease.

“There are things you can do with medication and without medication that can help you,” said Johnson.

People who have mild allergies can use nose rinses and can wear long sleeves while spending time outside.

“With springtime, you have the wind, but in this area, a lot of people cut hay and that stuff blows all of the place,” said Johnson. “And people don’t realize it because you can’t see it but that stuff will land on you.”

Even though the pandemic appears to be on the decline, a variant known as BA.2 is becoming more prominent, leading to concerns that the spring season may see people contract more than just the common flu and seasonal allergies.

“COVID-19 has been an illness that has evolved quite a bit,” said Johnson. “When COVID-19 first started it was pretty easy to spot. People would cough, people would have fevers and stuff like that but these last variants have changed.

According to Johnson, normally if you are dealing with allergies you won’t have a fever. Another key in determining whether it’s allergies or COVID-19 is knowing what you are allergic to.

“Some of the over-the-counter medications aren’t right for everybody,” said Johnson. “If you are elderly, pregnant, or if you have a child it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor to make sure you aren’t taking something that may not work well for you.”

April and May are peak pollen seasons with May being one of the worst months for allergy issues.

According to Johnson, the best way to know whether or not symptoms are COVID-related is through testing.

Other ways to help your body stay healthy is through nutrition, exercise, sleep, and making sure your skincare routine or toothpaste doesn’t contain ingredients you are allergic to.