By Sedona Ortega
March 20th officially marked the first day of Spring! In Prescott, Arizona, the beautiful trees are flowering in many different colors and their small, vibrant leaves are beginning to emerge. The grass is green, creeks are flowing, and the days are getting warmer and longer. Everyone is starting to get excited about summer! However, Spring is the time of runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. In order to enjoy this season at all, you need to know all about allergies and what to do about them.
Prescott is a hub for allergies. Many people living here experience allergies and they are hard to escape. The Juniper Trees are one major plant that gets a lot of people sniffly. The male cones of Juniper Trees release pollen during the Spring. If you walk around our town you will see bundles of this pollen attached to the trees. If a wind picks up, you will see it flying through the air. All of these pollen particles are what mess you up if you have allergies. The beautiful flowery trees, Cottonwood Trees (that leave cotton lining the sides of the streets), grasses, and many other flowers, and trees are other common allergens in Prescott.
Every person’s reaction to these plants is different. Some people have a very mild intolerance, but sometimes your reaction to these plants can be unbearable. Common symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals, ear congestion, and postnasal drainage. Occasionally, you may experience headaches, shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing.
The best thing to do during allergy season is to avoid the plants that cause your symptoms. However, this is nearly impossible to do all the time. Medicines are often necessary. Eye drops are very helpful if you get itchy, watery eyes. This is because once you start itching, it is very hard to stop unless you have something that helps to relieve it. It is good to keep these handy in case, unexpectedly, the wind decides to blow pollen all over you.
Amaya Fields suffers from bad allergies. She stated, “I am allergic to juniper trees and cottonwood trees and pollen. I break out in hives, I get rashes, I get a low grade fever, a sore throat, and the other normal symptoms.” Many people believe that this is one of the worst years for allergies in a while.
Some of the things that bring Amaya relief are, “taking allergy medication and Aleve, so I can breath through my nose, and drinking tea so my throat stops hurting.”
Amaya also explained to me about a shot that is being offered to help stop allergies. “I will be getting an allergy shot which has been highly recommended. I’ve heard that it can work miracles so I am going to try it.”
Many people are experiencing the struggles of allergies this season. You are not alone! Hopefully, some of these tips will help you survive this whirlwind of a time. Good luck and health to you!