Breaking News
More () »

Spring allergens hit St. Louis early

"We're about a week and half or two weeks ahead of schedule," according to a Washington University allergist.

ST. LOUIS — Springtime and the allergies that go with it are here. Lucky for allergy sufferers, it's early. 

Dr. H. James Wedner, a Washington University allergist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, said usually pollen shows up in the first week of March.

"But it doesn't really get to the point where it is making most people unhappy until about the first of April, so we're about a week and half or two weeks ahead of schedule," he said. 

The early arrival of pollens means more patients flowing into the clinics of Dr. Wedner and Mercy Pediatrician Dr. Jessica Smith.

"Lots of kids are coming in with runny eyes, itchy red eyes, itchy noses and runny noses, and I absolutely think it's due to this warm weather," he said. 

It's safe to say, the warm winter is to blame. Dr. Wedner said, "Pollen is in the air and people are complaining, they come in and say oh it's a terrible spring, so yep, not good."

There are options for allergy sufferers and lots of them. Dr. Smith recommends, "The most important thing is to start an antihistamine, things like Cetirizine and Loratadine area great options."

Dr. Wedner suggests, "The other thing that you can do that isn't medicine is rinse your nose with salt water, you can do that with a squeeze bottle and what's called a Neti pot."

It's also important to be aware of what time of day your are outside. Dr. Wedner said, "Pollen is actually higher in the morning than it is in the evening."

If all else fails, Dr. Wedner jokes, "Move to Alaska." But seriously, the colder the weather, the less allergens. That's just science. 

Both doctors and 5 On Your Side's Tracy Hinson agree that a snap freeze and some snow would certainly help, but our temperatures won't be cold enough, long enough to help. 

To watch 5 On Your Side broadcasts or reports 24/7, 5 On Your Side is always streaming on 5+. Download for free on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

5 On Your Side news app

iPhoneGoogle Play

Before You Leave, Check This Out