SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Stuffy noses and scratchy throats are back as it's that time of year again - allergy season. 

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, and Dr. Douglas Carlson with HSHS. St. John's Hospital explained why during this time of year, allergies hit hard.

"We're seeing many kids and adults with allergy symptoms this season," Carlson said.

According to Dr. Carlson, fall allergies aren't caused by the harvest or weather changes, but rather because of dying plants.

"Fall allergies are common in areas where there is no farming. It's not because of the weather, it's because of the things that are correlated with it," Carlson said. "Mold is high in the fall, there's decaying plants. It's often windy (and) there are things in the air."

Symptoms for allergies can include runny eyes and nose, a scratchy throat and a cough.

Dr. Carlson said to monitor allergies closely, because people often mistake a virus for allergies.

"Allergies do tend to linger. (If you) don't have the fever, it can be confusing," Carlson said. "But if you have difficulties and you're getting sicker, both can be treated with over-the-counter medicines."