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Seasonal allergies keeping Arkansans sniffling and sneezing

The official start of spring is on Sunday and with the change in seasons comes allergies for some.

ARKANSAS, USA — Allergy forecasts are projecting us to be in the high category for pollen counts.

Dr. Tina Merritt with the Allergy and Asthma Clinic of Northwest Arkansas says allergy season is just beginning.  

“Usually the tree pollen starts in March and it goes through April and then the grass call starts in April and usually goes through June,” said Dr. Merritt.

 In Arkansas, the top pollen producers include trees, grass, and ragweed.

“It’s a good 4 months that we’re going to have pretty high pollen counts it looks like,” said Dr. Merritt.

Allergy symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy and watery eyes.

“This time of year, what we’re dealing with his tree pollen,” said Dr. Steve Cashman with ENT Allergy Center in Fayetteville. “That’s what’s happening right now, that’s what’s keeping my clinic super busy.”

If you are looking for ways to take preventative measures to fight allergies, Dr. Merritt and Dr. Cashman suggest taking over-the-counter medication.

For kids, she says its best to take the medication in the morning because that's when pollen counts are the highest. Allergists say they are already busy with patients.

Along with allergies, Dr. Merritt wants people to also be on the lookout for bugs that comes with the warm weather.

“Right now, a lot of people are getting out and enjoying this beautiful weather, but they need to be mindful of everything tick spray and preventing the tick bites,” said Dr. Merritt

Dr. Merritt suggests you protect yourself from pests like ticks by putting on a bug spray before heading out to areas they may be found.

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