SPRINGFIELD, Mo. It’s that time of year again: allergy season.

Local hospitals are gearing up to take in allergy patients. 
    
Local doctors told KOLR10 Springfield has a high pollen count, and can affect a lot of people who are not from this area.

“Springfield, or southwest Missouri, are we’re just a hotbed for allergies,” said Dr. Erich Mertensmeyer.

Dr. Mertensmeyer said we’re living in one of the worst areas for allergies in the entire country, “this time of year its trees.”

“Cedar, and oak, ash, maples coming out too,” said Dr. Minh-Thu Le.

“Birch is probably getting ready to start,” Mertensmeyer said, “oak and walnut will kick in here in a few weeks. That’s the classic spring allergies here.”

Dr. Le said major allergens in Springfield can affect people who are not from here, “I think every year we see new people who have come in saying I’ve never had allergies before but now I do, we see that quite often.”

She said usually kids are more prone to allergies, but adults also have trouble in Springfield due to some of the extreme allergens, “because they were from a different area, moved in, and then now finally their body has told them okay now you’re allergic. It could take five years, or it could take ten, just depends on what their body wants to do.”

To minimize some minor allergic reactions, doctors said to start off with some home remedies.

“If you do have a trigger that’s a tree in the spring, it’s a bad time of year to open the windows and let it in,” said Dr. Mertesnmeyer, “you’re not really curing anything but you’re minimizing exposure.”

“You can do over the counter medications, like Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, the generics nasal spray, nasal rinses are very popular,” said Dr. Le.

But under certain circumstances, doctors do suggest you seek medical attention. 

“Having allergies will make your immune system a little bit weaker because it’s fighting against the allergens instead of trying to fight against the actual things that might harm you like bacteria and viruses, so a lot of people can get sinus infections, ear infections, pneumonia, strep throat,” said Dr. Le.

“A lot of asthma patients have allergies a trigger, then allergies, in general, aren’t necessarily considered life-threatening at least in pollen allergies. But if you have asthma, yeah, it can do bad things,” said Dr. Mertesnmeyer.

Doctor Le said the tree allergies will last until probably around May, and that’s when grass season starts, which usually lasts until July.