TYLER, Texas — While health officials continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, spring allergies are making their return to East Texas.

"This allergy season, I think it’s fairly consistent with what we usually have," Dr. Jonathan Buttram of UT Health said. "Pollination is always prolific in East Texas, and so spring is often one of the worst times of the year for allergic patients"

Dr. Buttram says smaller tree pollen is the cause of most of the issues during allergy season.

"That’s what you see kind of floating around in the air and all over your driveway," Dr. Buttram explained. "The pine pollen is the typical just yellow dust that you see everywhere, but pine pollen is very large, and so it doesn’t penetrate the airways as well as other tree pollens do. It is not necessarily the most problematic."

The typical symptoms for spring allergies are red eyes and itchy, stuffy or runny noses. It is easily distinguishable from infectious diseases like COVID-19.

"With COVID-19 the predominant feature there is fever and with allergies you don’t have fevers with viral illnesses you do," Dr. Buttram explained.

Dr. Buttram encourages allergy sufferers to avoid pollens, including wearing sunglasses if you go outside.

"If you’re driving around in your car or truck, keep the windows up and keep the air conditioning on recirculating inside air," Dr. Buttram explained. "Same thing at home, even when it’s nice and cool outside, and you’ve got that cool breeze going on in the spring, don’t open the windows and open the doors because that invites pollen inside."

Finally, Dr. Buttram encourages people to bathe pets that go outside every week or do to reduce the amount of allergens they bring into the home.