Can’t Stop Sneezing? Could You Be Allergic to Arizona?
Red eyes. Sniffles. Sneezing and coughing. No, it's not a new strain of the flu or a new global pandemic.
Nope. Allergy season has taken over our lives in Arizona and it seems to be affecting everyone. Is it possible that Arizona is currently rated as one of the worst states for allergy sufferers?
WebMD says cities like Tucson and Phoenix have very high rates of seasonal allergies and asthma, but this year there are factors that have made conditions even worse.
At one time, these cities were mostly desert, but they've been converted to landscapes with grasses and other vegetation, and this has increased the rate of allergies for people living in these areas.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports Arizona has become one of the worst states in the nation for these allergies and other related conditions. The report factored in pollen levels, air quality, medication use, and access to health care, and concluded Arizona has high levels of allergens.
Things like ragweed, dust mites, and mold, and poor air quality caused by pollution and wildfires are all contributors.
Are YOUR Allergies Worse?
As I'm writing this I literally had to stop while I waited for my sneezing fit to end. If you've noticed lately that you've been triggered by spring, you're not imagining it: your symptoms may actually be worse than in years past. With record rainfall last year during monsoon season and a wetter than usual winter, mold has increased.
Of course, the extra rain we got this year also brought a wildflower super bloom to our state. More flowering plants and trees equals more allergies. They may be beautiful to look at, but all those flowers are making it harder to even see the vibrant colors through bleary, bloodshot eyes.
What Can You Do?
Of course, visit your doctor if things seem to be getting worse. The best thing you can do is wait it out.
With any luck, our Spring allergies will give way to milder Summer allergies. Barring that, we could all move down to Antarctica or into a clean room, where at least we might get a little relief!