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Windy Weather Conditions Stir Up Misery For Allergy Sufferers

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Windy weather has been making life especially difficult for allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, the season may just be getting started.

For Megan Christenson, a walk in the park, these days, isn't as easy as it sounds.

"Zyrtec, Benadryl and Flonase," she said. "The allergy medicines are all in my system right now."

All that just to handle the outdoors, it's the reality for her and many others dealing with allergies. Windy weather certainly doesn't help.

"There's no wearing makeup in this weather for that reason," Christenson said.

The wind has kicked up pollen from trees especially. Pollen data shows alder, ash, and poplar among the most commonly found pollinators at the moment.

Dr. Arfa Faiz with Sutter Health said windy conditions can be irritating to most, even those who don't typically have allergies.

"Yes, pollen plays a factor," Dr. Faiz said. "But there are also other irritants in the air like dust or pollution that can also present similar to allergies."

As wind gusts die down, is relief on the way? It's unfortunately bad news for allergy sufferers. The area's allergy index looks to hold strong for the next five days, setting new highs for this particular season as trees continue to bloom.

"I have a feeling this year is going to be pretty bad," said Angelique Estrada, "Because it's already acting up."

Estrada fears there are worse days ahead, as we're still at the beginning of allergy season. It can last up until May.

Some people, like Jessica Beseda's husband, are being hit with new allergies when they haven't had them before.

"He never has allergies, but he's been dealing with them – especially this week," Beseda said."Really bad allergies, sneezing, congestion – the wind and pollen."

These days, how do you differentiate between allergies and COVID? Doctors say look for symptoms like fever, fatigue, and body aches. Even with mild symptoms, if you have to question it, take a test to be safe.

For those who know it's not the virus, like Beseda's husband, who's a healthcare worker, it can be hard to explain to others that it's not something worse.

"It's hard because for him, it's just allergies but you worry people are going to think you're sick," Beseda said.

These recent windy conditions aren't providing a breath of fresh air for those who suffer most.

As for how to handle any allergies, Dr. Faiz said nasal sprays tend to be the most helpful. Antihistamines can do the trick, too. Masking up when outside will also protect you from breathing in pollen particles in some cases.

If nothing seems to provide relief, Dr. Faiz says to reach out to your doctor for further advice.

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