Doctor gives tips ahead of what could be long, harsh allergy season

Seasonal allergies have begun earlier because of the warmer weather in February.
Seasonal allergies have begun earlier because of the warmer weather in February.(WSMV)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 6:41 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Spring is right around the corner and doctors say allergies this year are a bigger issue than we’ve seen in a while.

This time of the year, tree pollen is the common culprit, as mesquite, palo verde, ash and cottonwood trees are starting to bloom in southern Arizona.

But experts say they’re seeing a trend where allergies are year-round.

Dr. George Makol with Aspire Allergy and Sinus in Tucson says his patients are seeing allergy issues frequently because there’s not really any long hard freeze that kills plants. So those plants are able to stay alive and keep giving people problems.

But there’s more that goes into what makes folks with allergies feel bad.

The wind can pick things up and move them around. Dust is a big factor in southern Arizona, and when wildfire season comes all that smoke can be a big issue, too.

Here’s a look at some ways to try and control your allergies:

  • Get your AC filters changed as soon and often as possible, and look for a FILTRATE or HEPA filter to use.
  • Get an air purifier.
  • Dust your home with a wet rag.
  • Shower and change your clothes after coming in from outside.

This year is expected to be worse because of how wet it’s been.

“The rain, and it’s getting warm a little bit earlier, so those two factors could give us a longer spring,” Makol said. “And these past years we don’t get real heat until early or mid-June so the pollen season could last from the end of February until mid-June.”

If you are suffering, you can have some trouble getting relief from a professional.

Experts say there is a big shortage of allergy doctors in Tucson and getting an appointment to get checked out could take weeks or months.

In the meantime, there are also allergy tests you can take to see what affects you the most, nd there are over-the-counter meds to hold you over until you can be seen.