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Your Red Eyes & Runny Nose Could Be Oak Allergies

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A man covers his face while sneezing in a garden. (credit: Getty Images/Jim Watson/AFP)

A man covers his face while sneezing in a garden. (credit: Getty Images/Jim Watson/AFP)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It may seem like there’s no rest in sight for those experiencing itchy eyes and oak allergies may be the culprit. But there are a few simple tips that could save you from another season of suffering.

In North Texas, oak trees are everywhere and between now and early May oak allergies are more likely to act up.

“It’s hard to do a lot of activities outside, even 30 minutes to an hour,” explained allergy patient David Morse. “I can start feeling the effects for several days afterward if I don’t have the shots.”

Morse gets those allergy shots to ease his suffering, and for good reason. According to doctors, patients who receive shots see a 70 to 90-percent reduction in their allergies.

What about those who don’t get allergy shots? “They’ll get red, itchy eyes,” said allergy specialist Dr. Dennis Dyer. “Swelling of their eyes and that is a tip-off it’s more allergy than infection.”

Dr. Dyer says with oak allergies you can also expect sneezing, runny noses, itchy throats and asthma flare-ups for those who have asthma.

And parents pay close attention since kids seem to be affected more than adults. “So I end up, when I first see them, giving them steroids to get those symptoms under control and then usually they’ll go on allergy shots to try and prevent those symptoms in the future,” Dr. Dyer said of his general treatment for young patients.

Doctors advise that sufferers start over-the-counter medications early to steer clear of the symptoms. “Stay on them until maybe May and if it’s a windy day outside it’s probably a good day to stay indoors, because that’s when we’ll get a high oak count during that time,” Advised Dr. Dyer.

Experts say one way to tell if you have allergies and not a viral infection is if your symptoms last for weeks on end.

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