Spring has sprung allergies

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Tuesday was the first full day of spring and now that the last storm of winter has come and gone, we'll start seeing warmer temperatures by the end of the week. With spring weather and flowers blooming come pollen and allergies.

Unfortunately your only chance to avoid the pollen is by staying indoors and but hikers at Piestewa Peak say it's much too pretty out to do that.

“Yeah it's beautiful out here; this is the perfect time of year for us,” Ann Stallings said.

It’s also the perfect time for allergies to strike.

“I guess it's the pollen and the wind in the air it's just part of nature.”

It's just part of spring which officially sprung Tuesday. Already so many flowers and trees are in bloom. The view is breathtaking, quite literally for many allergy sufferers.

“Last few weeks people come in really miserable stuffy nose itchy eyes sometimes triggering their asthma,” Dr. Richard Keightley said.

Last weekend's rain offered some reprieve but the mulberry and ash trees are blooming. Next up, the olive.

“I'm not even allowed to sell fruiting olives anymore,” said Matthew Blake with Whitfill Nursery. “These are all fruitless olives. The fruiting olives I can't sell those because of the pollen because of the allergies.”

Mulberry trees too are no longer sold in Maricopa County but allergy suffers will likely be able to sniff out those that still exist around the valley.

“Back in the '50s and '60s, that's what all the housing developments put in, big mulberries,” Blake said.

To avoid those allergens, there are a number of different sprays on the market.

“It's the flowers that cause allergies so if you hit them in January or February or so that's when you'll stop the pollen from forming and keep yourself from sneezing," Blake said

“It's good if they can keep their windows closed in spite of the beautiful weather today and, particularly for women who spend time outdoors during the day, you should think about a quick shower so as to wash the pollen out of your hair before you go to bed," Keightley advised.

While it might be too late for you to spray your trees and avoid those blooms, there is always next year. In the meantime, Keightley says any pharmacist can suggest some great allergy meds that are inexpensive and over the counter.

“You are better off going outside during the middle of the day or night because trees tend to release pollen early in the morning when getting light and in evening as getting dark," Keightley said.