Spring is in the air, in more ways than one

For a lot of Willamette Valley residents, spring means allergies. Photo by Audrey Weil.

EUGENE, Ore. -- Don't let the rain fool you; it's officially spring.

For a lot of Willamette Valley residents, spring means allergies.

"It seems like very much a part of living in Eugene," Eugene resident Serena Black said. "You can take pride in your high pollen counts."

According to Oregon Allergy Associates, 20 percent of people have allergies.

Right now, we're still in tree pollen season.

"The three biggest trees we have here are hazelnut, alder and birch pollen," allergist Kraig Jacobson said.

That pollen's usually just released on the sunny days.

However, soon, grass pollen season starts.

"That pollen when it hits water, will fragment into a lot of little pieces. So people will have a lot of allergic symptoms even when it's raining outside," Jacobson said.

Grass pollen season starts in May, but Jacobson says it's not too early to think about allergy medicine.

"We usually tell people tax day, April 15," he said. "For people who are just sensitive to grass, that's generally the day that the medications are started for the season."

That's so Eugenians can still enjoy the outdoors, rain or shine.

"It's so worth it," Black said. "The outdoors here are so amazing that it hasn't deterred me from wanting to live here."

Jacobson says if allergies get in the way of work, school or social activities, or if you have asthma too, that's when it's time to see an allergist.

You can find the latest pollen counts here.

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