JOPLIN, Mo. — Spring means flowers and blooming trees, and if you’re one of the millions who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, and a running nose.

“Itchy, watery eyes, you know, burning, all kinds of things like that as well as breathing problems,” said Chad Isaacs, Pharmacist and owner of Stones Corner Pharmacy.

It’s all thanks to seasonal allergies.

Warmer temperatures have shortened the length of deep-freeze winters and extended seasons where allergen-producing plants thrive.

This means a longer and more intense spring allergy season.

Owner of Stone’s Corner Pharmacy, Chad Isaacs tells us how to gear up.

“First of all if you can avoid what you’re allergic to that’s always the best. So when Pollen counts are high, especially early morning might be a good time to do something else or stay inside. But beyond that, some of the basics are to rinse the stuff out. You know when you’ve got things that are irritating you, use a sinus rinse, flush that stuff out with saline. There is things like Xylitol that amplify that effect that help that even more, but get it out of your system,” said Isaacs.

If prevention doesn’t work, there are plenty of options available to help fight against seasonal allergies.

“The basics medicines that people are aware of are generally antihistamines and nasal sprays. So those are common things that people use and there are daytime antihistamines that people are used to that do a lot of good and don’t have as much drowsiness. There are also some older ones that do a better job with the drainage when your nose is really dripping badly. Chlorpheniramine is one we like to go to for that. But If you can’t handle the drowsiness, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are the ones that people generally use,” said Isaacs.

And then there are nasal sprays.

“Nasacort, Flonase, these are the things that help a lot with the nasal symptoms, but they have to be used daily,” said Isaacs.

Health officials say it’s important to start taking these medications before the season.

“It’s important to start kind of before the season if you can. But if not just being able to use these things daily they work so much better to be able to get the effect that you want than just using them as needed sometimes you don’t get as much of an impact,” said Isaacs.