SPRING IS HERE.. and so are allergies.

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The blooming flowers. The budding leaves. The itchy eyes. The running nose. Spring has officially "sprung". And so has allergy season. It's a bittersweet symphony.. beautiful weather that sends many people to the pharmacy to treat seasonal allergies. But not all pharmaceuticals are perfect. That's when alternative options take the front seat. It's an issue this time of year because..

"First thing we get hit with in the spring are the tree pollens," said Michael King, allergy expert.

To treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, many turn to antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec.

"What it does is it blocks the histamine receptor, so you don't get the swelling, the fluid, or the mucus.

But unfortunately, "Sometimes people get irritability with them, headaches, drowsiness."

Michael King owns a store in Decatur that sells alternative medicine. He says over-the-counter treatments from your average retailer don't do as good a job.

"They really aren't as affective. They quit working, they don't work as well. You're not really going to the source, you're just covering it up. You're coving up the symptoms, so a lot of the doctors now are using what we call nasal lavage." ..Also known as a netty pot. Instead of temporarily masking symptoms, it completely cleanses the source of irritation and keeps you healthy for a longer period.

According to Susie Casper, there are also more natural treatments.

"If I'm at home, I use a humidifier with eucalyptus in the actual humidifier to balance out my environment," said Casper. "If I go out, I would use like maybe some rosemary oil, raw, the little bottles of oil, over my eyebrows for my sinuses."

She says not only does it work, but there are, "No side-effects. Oh, absolutely not."

So you can enjoy the season allergy free. It's important to note that some natural remedies can still interfere with certain medications or medical treatments, so always check with your doctor before starting something new.

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