Got allergies? Our warm, dry weather in Phoenix could be making it worse

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Warm, dry weather is making the Phoenix area one of the worst places in the country right now for allergy sufferers.

“I sneeze. Runny nose; itchy watery eyes," said Andrea Blodgett of Peoria.

Blodgett has lived in the Valley for 15 years and is allergic to nearly everything swirling in the air this time of the year.

“When I get my allergy shots, I feel a lot better, especially with being outside,” said Blodgett.

"In the springtime in Phoenix, typically you’ll have Bermuda grass, olive trees, mesquite trees, and some of the desert ragweed that begins to pollinate," said Dr. Michael Saavedra of Phoenix Allergy & Asthma.

Saavedra is seeing a spike in patients with this sudden spike in pollen.

"We often see people coming in complaining of itchy eyes, runny nose, asthma flare-ups, eczema skin flare-ups," said Saavedra.

According to Saavedra, there are three ways to treat allergies.

"Identifying what a person is allergic to and helping to avoid it, allergy medications, and we also do allergy shots which is immune therapy," said Saavedra.

Those shots are vaccinations against pollen, mold and dust. They begin to work within a few months.

For a quick fix, Saavedra recommends over-the-counter medications with an antihistamine, like Zyrtec or Claritin.

“If the symptoms aren’t controlled, you’ll typically add a nasal spray, like Flonase, to that regimen," said Saavedra.

After several years of trial and error, Blodgett now breathes easier.

"He’s really helped me with my asthma a lot," said Blodgett.

According to Saavedra, about 70 percent of people who have asthma, have it because they’re breathing in things that they’re allergic to. The same way allergens cause inflammation in the nose, they can also cause it in the lungs.

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