Farewell flu season; hello allergy season - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Farewell flu season; hello allergy season

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SHERMAN, Texas -- Flu season is winding down, but don't put away those tissues just yet.

Texoma medical professionals say allergy season is kicking into gear early this year.

"I think it's going to be bad because this winter was pretty warm; we've had some 70-degree temperatures," explained Sherman family nurse  practitioner Laren Kirby.

That's not good news for allergy sufferers. Doctors are saying a mild winter will bring us an even longer allergy season, and it's already started.

"We've had a lot of patients come in with congestion and cough, and we've given a lot of allergy treatments so far," Kirby said. "I think it's going to come on early and stay pretty late."

She added that patients with a history of upper respiratory infections, allergies or asthma are among those most at risk. And allergies can be triggered by a wide range of sources, including mountain cedar, hay, molds, and pollen.

So do allergy-sufferers just need to buckle down and ride out the sneezing, wheezing and runny noses?

There are a wide variety of medications available without a prescription to deal with the symptoms. You can also visit an allergy specialist to find out what you're allergic to and possibly prescribe shots to help prevent any reactions to that allergen.

But no matter what type of treatment you go for, definitely start as soon as possible.

"Usually if you start treatment a month in advance, you kind of can curb some of those symptoms," Kirby said.

Doctors say over-the-counter medications are pretty effective for allergies. If you aren't sure which one is right for you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

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