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MU doctor gives tips on coping with springtime allergies in Missouri

A white flower is on a green, budding bush. There is a tree in the background.
Kassidy Arena
According to MU Health Care, Missouri's biggest tree pollen allergy triggers are oak, cedar, hickory, walnut and ash trees.

It’s allergy season in Missouri, and this year may bring longer pollen blooms. And withdata showing climate change can impact the length and severity of allergy seasons, it may become the new normal.

Longer warm seasons mean plants have more time to bloom and produce pollen. According to Christine Franzese, an otolaryngologist with MU Health Care, longer allergy seasons are becoming a growing occurrence.

“Whether you feel it's due to climate change, or just changes in weather patterns, it does seem to be this year, we're expecting growing seasons to be at least three weeks longer than they have been in the past,” Franzese said. “Expect extended exposure to pollen more this year than in past years.”

In addition to a longer growing season, Missouri has large pollen blooms. When spending time outdoors, Franzese said changing clothes and showering can often reduce the amount of pollen that comes into contact with the skin. Monitoring symptoms and use of over-the-counter medication can help indicate when it may be time to see a medical professional about allergies.

“When you're taking one or more medications, that's a great time to see an allergist, you don't want to take medications every day,” Franzese said. “Or despite taking all these medications, you're struggling. You're still having breakthrough symptoms or you're tired.”

More information on seasonal allergies from MU Health Care can be found here.

Anna Spidel is a health reporter for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk. A proud Michigander, Anna hails from Dexter, Michigan and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University in 2022. Previously, she worked with member station Michigan Radio as an assistant producer on Stateside.
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