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Pollen blankets East Texas

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TYLER (KYTX) - Spring means flowers, shorts and beautiful weather, but it also means runny noses and lots of allergy problems.

And if you haven't noticed, tree pollen is coating everything in East Texas.

Tree pollen season starts in February and runs through the spring time, next up we have to fight grass pollen, then ragweed.

But if you've looked at the streets and your car, you know how bad it is this year.

Many hope a good rain could clear up their allergy agitator.

A yellow wave has taken over.

Everywhere you look, from your car to your yard, there's one dirty allergen culprit, pollen.

"I don't remember my allergies being this bad last year or any year before," says Jana Haught, an allergy sufferer.

Haught has been sniffling and sneezing her way through the day for a week.

"I'm tired of sniffling and keeping a box of Kleenex everywhere I go," says Haught.

"It wreaks havoc on our family," says Allyson Simmons.

Simmons has to worry about taking care of her husband and her oldest son.

"Watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat and with kids it develops into everything else, from ear infections to upper respiratory infections," says Simmons.

The pollen has been blowing in for a little over a week, and if you haven't seen it clouded in the breeze, you've definitely seen it on your car.

Doctors say the best thing you can do is stay away from it.

Wash your car and wash your clothes.

"If you've been outside and the wind is blowing and all that pollen gets into your hair, then you lay down at night and rub it off on your pillow and you're going to breathe it in at night," says Dr. Paul Sharkey, an allergist with UT Health Science Center in Tyler.

Dr. Sharkey says spring hurries in patients, many using over-the counter medications, others just hoping it ends soon.

"We just have to wait for the season to pass and it does every year, so we're thankful for that," says Simmons.

Dr. Sharkey says another measure to take, keep your windows rolled up on your car and the air conditioner running, no matter how nice the weather is so you don't have pollen creeping into your car.

Dr. Sharkey says mornings are the worst for pollen count, followed by evenings.

So if you can get out from 11- 3 you'll be less likely to come home feeling terrible.

Dr. Sharkey says using over the counter medication will help, but it's best to start using it before your allergies get aggravated.

And he says wearing glasses if you have them could help.

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