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Mesquite pollen creating terrible allergies for Tucsonans

Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 10:39 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The weather in Tucson this time of year is near perfect, but with it comes allergy season.

And if you’ve recently been sneezing more, you’re not alone. Spring may be a few days away, but Tucsonans with allergies are already feeling the effects of pollen in the air, especially in the last few weeks.

But despite being more than a year into the pandemic, people are still having trouble telling the difference between allergies and COVID-19.

Mesquite trees are a Tucson staple, but when they start to bloom, the pollen wreaks havoc.

“It’s the mesquite pollen, I’m seeing it already. It’s the number one thing that people are allergic to in our population among the patients that come to see me. We studied this a few years ago and mesquite tree pollen is number one. Palo Verde is number two,” says Dr. Tara Carr, Head of the Adult Allergy Clinic at Banner-University Medical Center.

She also says says, prepare for the worst, but hope for the best this allergy season, especially with the intensity of springtime pollens.

But it seems lately, any sneeze or sniffle makes the mind wander…allergies, or COVID-19?

“If it feels like what they get each year, then they’re probable suffering from seasonal allergies, but if there’s any fever or achiness or general sense of un-wellness, then I would be concerned about COVID,” says Dr. Carr.

If you have any doubts, it’s of course best to get tested. But now is definitely the time those allergies take off.

“Everybody’s noticing it a little bit starting and so now’s a good time to get onto your usual allergy medication to try to prevent those symptoms from getting worse and worse. But this year seems to be pretty consistent with previous years.”

Many of our viewers took to Facebook today to talk about how they’re experiencing terrible allergies as well. Among those conversations came the suggestion to eat local raw honey to help build immunity.

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