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Expect another miserable allergy season

BY HARRY JACKSON JR., St. Louis Post-Dispatch Published: March 20, 2012
Expect another worse than normal allergy season, says Dr. Raymond Slavin, SLUcare allergist and professor of internal medicine at St. Louis University.

Spring is normally tree pollen season. This year, trees began spewing pollen in February because of the mild winter, Slavin said.

Allergy complaints began to arrive in his office in early February, he said. That also caused some confusion because people often couldn't tell if they had a winter cold or a spring allergy.

"Allergies and colds share many of the same symptoms," Slavin said. "However, there are a few distinctions that can help you differentiate between the two."

The differences are that allergy symptoms can last weeks or months while colds go away in a few days; seasonal allergies occur at the same time every year while colds are mainly during cold weather; itching eyes and noses is common with allergies and rare with colds. A family history of allergies is another indication, he said. issued a high pollen level alert and blamed pollen from juniper, cedar, elm and maple.

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