How to deal with pollen in the spring

Pollen counts are high in Austin Monday and will continue for the rest of the week. For seasonal allergy sufferers, doctors say you will feel symptoms.

Tiago Saramento walks his dogs often on the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail. He enjoys the scenery: trees, grass, but that's also what triggers his allergies. 

"First thing I feel, is I feel the back of my throat start itching. I know I've got to take medication right away otherwise it's going to be worse," says Tiago Saramento, Austin resident.

Even his dog Rocky gets allergies too. Dr. Albert Gros from St. David's South Austin Medical Center says we are blessed in Austin with great climate but that climate comes with a downside.

"Well the cedar peaks in the fall, the oak peaks in the spring, mold pretty much year round, grass in the late spring, early summer. So pretty much any time of year you can find something that's pollinated," says Dr. Albert Gros, Chief Medical Officer, St. David's South Austin Medical Center. 

Dr. Gros says there are a lot of things you can do to treat symptoms: taking an antihistamine such as Zyrtec everyday during the season, using a nasal steroid and eye drops. Also, a nasal wash to rinse pollen out of your sinuses. We're told most times, allergies don't lead to infections and you can treat it over the counter.

"If you do have to work in your yard and you get exposed to a lot of pollen, it's recommended that you shampoo or wash your hair in the evening before you go to bed so you don't leave a bunch of pollen on your bed clothes," says Dr. Gros. 

There are some rare cases where it can lead to a sinus infection. Amy Schmidt is getting married to her partner Stephanie in three days and hopes her allergies won't bother her then. She says it doesn't help that every morning her car is covered in pollen. 

"Well what I get is the sinus headaches right behind my eyes. They get real red and watery and it almost feels like I'm crying in the morning," says Dr. Gros. 

Another good tip is to avoid going outside during peak hours, which is mid to late morning.