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      Early allergy season setting in on Tri-State area

      If you or someone you know thinks they're suffering from a spring time cold, you may want to rethink that.

      There's a good chance it's allergies and the main culprit right now for the runny noses and sniffles is tree pollen.

      Many people have said it's a great time of the year and many people are talking about the record breaking temperatures. But along with the warm weather, it's also bringing with it the early onset of allergies and now we can blame the trees for budding so early.

      "This is the earliest I've ever seen three pollen this high. Normally we don't see tree high levels until mid-march and this year we started getting, we got high levels much earlier and there's just still and they're staying high," Dr. Gary Carpenter, an allergy doctor at the Quincy Medical Group, said.

      The tree pollen count is at a very high level. But for those of you who think the grass is also a problem, you'll have to wait on that until next month or even into May or June for that. Right now, we can blame the cedar trees, the elms, maples and even the mighty oak trees for your discomfort. And to get some temporary relief for your misery, it's either close up the house or head to your local pharmacy.

      "Well the most important thing right now would be to stay indoors and keep your windows and doors shut since the pollen counts inside are about 95% lower then the pollen count outside. And other then that, the other thing is to take an over the counter allergy medicine, usually don't recommend Benadryl because, for two reasons, it's sedating and secondly it only works for about six hours," Carpenter said.

      Carpenter does say that you can elect to go through a series of allergy shots. That will take several weeks or even years to see any definitive results.

      There are a couple of websites that you can track pollen counts for your specific area, www.weather.com has a very basic pollen count table that you can reference.

      Or you can go to www.pollen.com , enter your zip code and that will reference what the pollen count is for the next two to four days.