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One Week Into Spring, Allergy Sufferers See Yellow

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FAYETTEVILLE — Our unusually warm weather feels great to most of us. But for others, it is the start of a miserable allergy season. Unfortunately, that pesky pollen is going to make life more difficult this year for spring allergy sufferers.

Bees love it. Spring allergy sufferers hate it. Pollen is covering cars and testing the patience of more than 52 million Americans.

Mary Lee hates it. Lee is not only allergic to pollen, she gives allergy advice to people who have the same symptoms.

Lee is an operator at the 24 hour health hotline CareLink. The annual allergy calls have begun, as have Mary's itchy eyes, headaches and runny nose.

"I can always tell pollen is coming out," Lee explains. "That is my first sign. I sneeze more than normal."

After a mild winter, the allergy season is expected to be worse than normal.

"It hasn't been cold enough to kill a lot of spores in the ground over the winter," says nurse Linda Cooper, "It's going to be a longer spring because it's already in the 80's, and it's usually in the 60's this time of year."

This time of year, Janet Conway usually can't sit outside, but she has started taking allergy shots. She's better, but not cured.

From now until June it will be a trying time for Conway, a time when pesky pollen is at its peak.

If you have the typical allergy symptoms-- runny nose and itchy eyes-- there are many over-the-counter medications available. Make sure you read the label before taking anything. If you are pregnant or have a child who is suffering from allergies, consult your doctor.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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