Experts say a harsh allergy season is expected

Warm temperatures are allowing trees to begin the pollen production process

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Allergy experts say allergy season could hit us any time now. These recent warm temperatures are allowing trees to begin the pollen production process.

"We've had a very cold winter. When winter is especially cold, the trees get really excited to pollinate at the first sign of spring," said Dr. Mark Vandewalker of Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Jefferson City.

He says it does take a few days of consistently warm temperatures, something we have not had quite yet.

Seasonal allergy sufferer Heather Alaro enjoyed lunch outside Tuesday afternoon, something she says she will not be able to do in a few weeks because of her intense allergies.

"I'm so happy its spring, but I'm also looking forward to later in spring when allergies set in," said Alaro.

Vandewalker says it is best for seasonal allergy sufferers to plan ahead. Some of his seasonal allergy patients are already coming in and discussing treatments for the upcoming season.

Vandewalker says for the less severe cases, he suggests over-the-counter medications.

"All medicines used to treat allergies just treat the symptoms. They don't get rid of the underlying problem with allergies," said Vadewalker.

For his more severe cases he often suggests allergy shots.

"That will get rid of their allergies, so they can get out and do the things that they want to do and be happier and healthier without so much medications," said Vandewalker.

Vadewalker says allergy shots can even cure some patients for life.

"Many patients, after a several year course, may be cured for the rest of their life. Most patients do well for many, many years going out of the shots. There are a few patients whose allergies start to come back when they discontinue treatment," said Vandewalker.

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