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Allergies already having an impact ahead of spring months

Wet and windy weather has caused an increase amount pollen this year
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Posted at 6:17 AM, Feb 28, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — We are still weeks away from the official start of spring and this year's allergy season is already looking to be more intense than years prior. Itchy eyes, running nose, sneezing, if you’re already feeling that, you’re not alone. Our wet and windy weather has led to an increased amount of pollen in the air.

The two most common types of allergies in Southern Arizona are tree pollen and plant pollen. The state of Arizona typically has two seasons where allergies tend to be highest. In the springtime around March and April and again in the fall around September and October.

"Tucson is surrounded by beautiful mountains and that plays a major role in keeping a lot of the pollen that we produce in this area, local. Be prepared and hopefully we'll go through the season together," said Dr. Pierre Sakali, Tucson Allergist .

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports that Tucson had the wettest January since 2015 with a recorded 1.76 inches of rain. That winter weather is what local allergists are saying could make this season more intense.

"We definitely have more rain and snow this year compared to the last few years. We expect spring to be beautiful, a lot of flowers, a lot of green, and of course that translates into more pollen and more allergies," said Dr. Sakali.

Rain, snow and wind gusts has led to seeing those allergy symptoms a few weeks sooner rather than when we normally would.

While antihistamines and over the counter medication can help the problem short term, allergists are saying that immunotherapy is the most effective way to relieve allergies for good.

Another thing to consider is making simple changes to keep pollen out of your home like closing windows and changing air filters. Plus. pets play a role as well. Making sure they are groomed and bathed regularly before they bring outdoor pollen into your home.

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Brooke Chau is a reporter for KGUN 9. She was a part of Fresno State's newscast, Fresno State Focus and interned at KFSN-ABC30 in Fresno, CA before coming to KGUN 9. Share your story ideas and important issues with Brooke by emailing brooke.chau@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.