Knoxville (WVLT) - If you suffer from spring allergies, you're probably feeling the effects right now.
Pollen counts in East Tennessee are extremely high right now and you can not only feel it, you can see it.
Medical Reporter Jessa Goddard has your spring allergy season survival guide.
From now through fall, plants reproduce by spreading pollen through the air.
That includes trees, grasses and weeds.
And you can actually see the evidence of that on your car, it looks like a light green dust, and it's already causing problems for people plagued by pollen.
According to the American Academy Of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 36 million Americans suffer from spring allergies.
And Allergy, Ashtma and Sinus Center Doctor Ty Prince says they're suffering early this year, "The pollen counts are extremely high right now, we're also seeing some elevation of the mold counts now that the rain has hit."
A seasonal allergy to pollen, commonly referred to as hay fever, causes the trademark stuffy nose, watery eyes and fatigue.
Hay fever can cause swelling of the opening to the sinuses, and if they don't drain adequately, an infection can develop that leads to worse symptoms.
Making people with hay fever more likely to get sinusitis.
"Some people literally get sick with these allergies, some people have their asthma flair, some people get bad sinus infections, so it's a real medical problem to some people," Dr. Prince.
But you don't have to settle for all that sniffling, sneezing and teariness.
Over-the-counter products, prescription drugs and allergy shots can help you control your symptoms.
Doctor Prince says don't get caught up in all those advertisements claiming one product can treat your symptoms better than the others. "That's a gimmick. Traditionally, the best results we see are using a topical cortizone spray, along with an antihistamine."
These traditional treatments will help most allergy sufferers control their symptoms.
Alternative approaches also include acupuncture, vitamin c and other supplements, though there's little evidence they work.
Your best defense is to avoid the allergies that make you miserable.
Obviously, you can't get rid of pollen outside, look around, it's everywhere.
Also, not helping allergy sufferers, high barometric pressure and high pollutions levels in East Tennessee.
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