BETH CORN, MD: If someone has a cold for more than two weeks, it's usually not a cold. And that's when they would go see a doctor.
ANNOUNCER: Sometimes the doctor will do allergy tests to see what might be causing the symptoms.
BETH CORN, MD: What that involved is just wiping off the skin and introducing -- with a needle -- a small amount of the proteins from the specific grass and trees from that particular area where a person lives.
And you look to see if there is what we call a "wheal and flare" response. If there is a little red bump that develops ten or fifteen minutes after the allergen, the protein is introduced underneath the skin. If there is a reaction like that, then that's consistent with allergy.
ANNOUNCER: Once diagnosed, a person with allergies can help themselves by becoming more aware of their surroundings -- like keeping track of the pollen count.
GILLIAN SHEPHERD, MD: The pollen count is a measure of how much pollen is actually in the air at any time. It does help some people to know that if the pollen counts are very high they should consider taking preventive medicine before they go outside during the day.
ANNOUNCER: And while there's no changing what's in the air, there are ways to change how much it affects you.
GILLIAN SHEPHERD, MD: The environment you're in, if you have springtime allergies, is absolutely critical. First the obvious, if you're inside versus outside, inside will have far less pollen assuming that it is tree pollen in the springtime.