Allergy season in full swing with tree pollens - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Allergy season in full swing with tree pollens

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KENNEWICK, WA - Spring has sprung and with it the sun is shining. Trees, flowers, and plants are blooming - and pollinating. That's not great news for the roughly 50-million people who deal with allergies every year. This time of year isn't just for picnics and hikes. It's for sneezing, running noses, and watery eyes.

"They look like they're a tool of war. That have spikes and all kind of ornaments on them that really irritate our nasal passages," said Flower Farm owner Tom Kay, explaining different types of pollen.

Right now it's the beginnings of allergy season. First, it's tree pollen that's the problem. Maples just finished blooming, birch trees are blooming, so are cherry trees, pear trees and plum trees. Really, the list goes on...

Once tree pollens calm down, weed pollen begins triggering allergy symptoms, generally closer to summertime. That's arguably the worst allergy season in the region.

But as Kay reminds us... "Pollen is part of the process, making sure we have more seeds. Whether it's an apple or a tomato."

There is no official pollen count in the Tri-Cities anymore. Some websites can give generalized data of local pollen counts.

A local allergist says the best defense for people with allergies is to avoid outdoor activity between sunrise and 10 a.m. Also, most antihistamines are over-the-counter these days. However, if you have very bad symptoms, it's best to call a doctor.