Spring season, sneezing season

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DECATUR - All this rain may not just be leaving a damper on the day but also on people's health. Rain and humid conditions contribute to an active allergy season.

"It feels like a stuffed up nose, sinus headaches, can't breathe, um sneezing a lot, coughing, everything bad," said Jessica Brown who is suffering from allergies. She said she has to use her sinus spray at least twice a day to clear up congestion. "Or I can't breathe through my nose at all."

And this time of year she's not the only one sneezing and wheezing.

"We have the worst allergies in the country here in the Midwest," said Ron Stephens, a pharmacist at Dale's Southlake Pharmacy in Decatur. "Because that's where most of the plants grow."

Rain and humidity only making matters worse.

"Those two conditions cause all of the things that cause allergies, uh, grow more here in the Midwest and they hang around more," he explained.

And as the rain falls people are flooding into pharmacies.

"We're seeing new faces this week coming in the cold and allergy section of the stores been well picked over every day," Stephens said.

In order to avoid allergens, stay inside with air conditioning on and windows closed, or if someone has to go outside, take an over the counter antihistamine before exposure to allergens. Drink plenty of fluids and if someone is already feeling symptoms, rinse the nasal cavity with salt water.

"You'll wash out the allergens because it doesn't do any good to treat yourself if you don't get rid of the things that's actually causing you to have the reaction," Stephens said.

He added that if people have been inside but have kept the windows and doors open to their home, it's important to mop, sweep, and even clean the bed sheets to get rid of any allergens that could have made their way in the house. That way, people with allergies can welcome spring with ease and not a sneeze.

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