The recent winter rains have been great for the Valley. But it's not so great for sufferers of seasonal allergies.
There's definitely a correlation between high winter rainfall and high pollen counts in the spring. Grass, tree, and weed pollens are the primary offenders.
"Already, we're seeing high pollen levels in the Valley right now so I think springtime allergy sufferers are going to suffer more this year," said Dr. Joshua Gibbs of Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates.
And unfortunately, our weather forecast for the next seven to 10 days isn't going to help us out much. Dry, windy days are the worst for allergy sufferers, because pollen can travel dozens of miles.
"A lot of people think that just because there's a tree in their backyard, that's the tree they have to worry about. But in reality, it's the thousands and thousands of other trees in the Valley; they're also getting exposed to that pollen," said Gibbs.
So... Is it allergies, or a cold?
"The one thing I would really kind of rely on is time. Generally, allergies are going to last longer than a cold. But all the other symptoms really can blend together," Gibbs said.
Dr. Gibbs says you really can't move, or get away from allergies.
"When you're prone to allergy, you're prone to allergy. You may do better if you move from Phoenix to say, the Midwest, for a while but your genes are your genes and you're prone. So I could never guarantee that you wouldn't develop allergies to what's there in a few years," said Gibbs.
You may be able to limit the effects of seasonal allergies at home by keeping your windows closed, taking more frequent showers (especially before bed), and considering an air purifier for your bedroom.
If seasonal allergies start to affect your quality of life or lead to other health concerns, it may be time to see a certified allergist.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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