It's officially Spring, but you probably don't need a calendar or thermometer to tell you that. Chances are your nose already knows it.
You see it on cars, in the street or on your backyard grill. Pollen: it's back in full force. And thanks to the mild weather, it's back a lot sooner than usual.
"Anytime the pollens are out, the mold spores and some tree pollen starts to show up. Usually we don't see it until after Easter" says Dr. Vaughn Maples, an allergist for Fort Wayne's Allergy and Asthma Center.
Just like pollen, Maples says there are many allergy myths floating all around us. Like for instance, many think that it's flowers that leave us sniffling and sneezing, but Maples says it's ok to stop and smell the roses.
"What they're allergic to are the airborne pollens, which are the trees, the birches, the elms, the grass pollens. So the flowering plants are rarely a cause. Now, if you put your nose right up to a nice-smelling flower and you already have your allergies then just the scent of it can set you off" Maples says.
Another allergy myth: you should stay indoors. Dr. Maples says that with the right medicine, just about anyone can have fun in the sun.
"Generally speaking, except on the really bad days, most of the time the nasal sprays and the antihistamines are adequate for about 90 percent of the people" he tells WFFT.
Maples also says that an increase in temperatures doesn't necessarily mean an increase in pollen.
"A lot of times the pollen just starts earlier and isn't necessarily increased in amount" he says.
And not pollen but simply the warmer weather could be the cause of your symptoms.
"With the weather being the way it is, you get the same symptoms.Runny, sneezy, blocked-up post nasal drainage, even bleeding from the non-allergic triggers as you get from the allergic triggers" says Maples.
In addition, he says very few of us have pure allergies.
"Most of them have some component of the non-allergic triggers: pollution, hair spray, weather changes, as well as the allergic triggers and the nose overreact" says Maples.