Allergy season is right around the corner

The first symptoms of the season generally appear when trees go into bloom.

Spring officially begins Wednesday, so for many of us, that means allergy season is just around the corner.

The earliest allergy symptoms are typically rhinitis allergies, which result from pollen and trees going into bloom.

Last year's early and warm spring might have been enjoyable for many reasons, but it also caused an early allergy season we haven't seen so far this year.

"The warm season last year coming so quickly really caused a lot of trees to come into bloom quicker, it was probably, I would say, scientifically, more like to be a worse season last year than we'd expect this year, but it's hard to say sometimes," said Dr. Jefrey Start, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Ottumwa Regional Health Center's Walk-in Clinic. "Until it warms up a little bit and that time is allegedly coming, we'll find out as soon as the trees start to bloom."

Dr. Start said the best way to lesson the symptoms of a rhinitis allergy is first by avoidance -- closing the doors and windows in your home and car to prevent contact with pollen. Then over-the-counter medications are usually best. Symptoms of a rhinitis allergy are similar to those of a cold; runny nose and eyes and sneezing.

Dr. Start recommended that anyone who is unsure of the severity of their allergies or which medication they should take should consult a physician.