The pollen count in Mankato is medium-high Thursday and is expected to spike to high for both Saturday and Sunday but a Mayo Clinic Allergy Specialist said there are things allergy sufferers can do to reduce the effects.

Dr. Alexei Gonzalez Estrada said the telltale signs of allergies are easy to spot, and include, “Itchy, watery eyes; itchy nose; and nasal congestion.”

Gonzalez Estrada said pollen is the most common culprit for watery eyes and runny noses caused by allergies because, “It’s such a small particle that goes through your nose and it affects your upper airway.”

Over-the-counter medicines are available to treat allergy symptoms, but Gonzalez Estrada explained that the easiest thing to do is avoid or limit exposure by spending as much time as possible indoors.

“Obviously you can’t live in a bubble. Air conditioning is going to be your friend, so keep your air conditioning on in your car, in your house,” he suggested.

Another suggestion – a shower and a change of clothes after spending time outside to remove pollen that may have stuck to skin, hair, or clothing.