Allergy season may be delayed, but hard hitting

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Spring-like temperatures are on the way, but when they get here there are going to be some side effects.

The lingering winter-like weather means allergy season will probably start a little later, according to Dr. Mark Blaser with Medical Arts Associates in Moline.

"Probably the second week of April is when people will start noticing it," he told News 8's Angie Sharp on Thursday, March 27th, 2014.

However, Dr. Blaser says once it finally gets warm, trees and other plants that are pollinating will work fast to catch up and that's when allergies will hit hard.

"Certain species of trees pollinate earlier, some more middle, and some later in the spring and last year there was a condensed more severe season when it finally hit because the earlier trees just kind of came around the same time as the middle trees," says Dr. Blaser.

Some experts say the deep freeze and the record snow from this past winter will have an impact as well, but Dr. Blaser says it's more about what the weather is like from this point forward.

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"It's hard to say whether all of the snow and the cold - of which we certainly had plenty of this year - will have an impact on the tree pollen season. The severity tends to be more based on how the weather is as the season comes so dry, breezy days will give people more trouble than if you have intermittent rains throughout the spring."

Despite the oncoming allergy season, workers at Wallace's Garden Center in Bettendorf say they - and their customers - are ready for warmer weather.

"Eeven though they know it's too cold to plant, they come through just because they want to see something green and growing," says Store Manager, Kate Terrell. "They're so anxious to get out in their yards, they're asking us - 'What can I do right now? There must be something I can do right now.' They're getting their seeds started so they can get a jump when the weather does turn, so we're seeing a lot of excitement."

But even Terrell says she's knows that with spring come allergies.

"I thought myself this morning that I should maybe start taking my allergy medication," she said.

"A lot of the trees and a lot of the flowers bloom when we hit a certain temperature mark and so it does kind of happen all at once. There's not a slow lead up. It's like a big bang and if you're not ready for it, you can have a couple of miserable days."

If you do suffer from allergies, Terrell says they offer flowers that don't have a strong pollen count.

"Anything that has a double flower, like a double petunia or a double impatiens. They don't produce as much pollen as some of the other thing that you see out there."

"Coleus is also a great plant," she adds. "It gives you lots and lots of color, but it's all in the foliage and so you don't have the flowers that are irritating your allergies."

Dr. Blaser has his own message:

"If you have a lot of allergies, you don't necessarily have to suffer from allergies. There are a number of treatments available."