HORSEHEADS -- [WENY] Inconsistent weather patterns have caused some flowers and trees to bloom early, and the pollen's spreading a little earlier this year.
Some might be mistaking that stuffy nose and sore throat for a cold, but it could be Spring allergies even though it sure is cold out there right now.
"Runny nose, itchy scratchy throat, itchy ears, you can get a cough, you can get a sore throat with it, watery eyes, itchy eyes," said Jenilee Foster a physicians assistant at Five Star Urgent Care.
Those are the telltale signs of allergies, which can be coming earlier and stronger this Spring.
"I have noticed a couple of people with new allergy onsets this winter which seemed odd because it doesn't usually happen as often," said Vito Diciolla a pharmacist at Gerould's.
If you've never had allergies before, don't think you're automatically in the clear.
"Your body evolves and your allergies can change as you get older," said Foster.
The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid going outside during peak allergy days.
Next, try over-the-counter allergy medicines.
"There's basically three different allergy medicines, there's claritin, zyrtec, and allegra and they all have generics and they all work very well," said Diciolla.
But sometimes, your body's response to a certain medication can change, so you may have to make a switch.
"I was on Claritin, they actually just changed mine to Allegra so hopefully this will be a new experience for me and is more productive and can cure my problem," said Arnold Turner, who has allergies.
If the over-the-counter medications don't work, patients can try allergy shots once a week.
The most important thing is to make sure you treat your symptoms.
"A lot of time allergies can form into a cold if they're not taken care of because they can plug up your sinuses, end up with fluid in the ears which can cause an infection," said Foster.
Doctors say if you know you have allergies, it's important to start treatment before symptoms start because that will help build defenses.