ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Mary Cardenas was hoping for a nice day out at Tingley Beach feeding the ducks with her grandson Zachary, but her plans were foiled.
Both of them were slammed with something plenty of people in Albuquerque can relate to this time of year.
“It’s been rough,” said Cardenas. “It’s hard to breathe… your runny nose, your eyes and all that stuff.”
Cardenas is not alone. Over at Duran Central Pharmacy, Mona Ghattas says the store has been having a hard time keeping both traditional allergy medications and homeopathic remedies in stock.
“It’s been crazy,” Ghattas said. “People have been buying allergy medicine and clearing our shelves off.”
Warm weather has gotten the spring allergy season started. Dan Gates, a data manager with the city’s Environmental Health Department, says the timing of this year has been about typical.
Air quality data reported by the city of Albuquerque shows that juniper has been the biggest culprit thus far, with high levels of pollen from those trees in the air.
“We had moisture this winter so all these juniper trees got up and going and now it’s warm, it’s dry and they’re just pollinating like crazy,” said Dr. Katherine Abernathy-Carver, an allergist.
Dr. Abernathy-Carver says if over-the-counter medications don’t do the trick, and allergies are consistently making you miserable, a long-term solution could be allergy injections.
“It’s basically teaching your immune system to be tolerant to the things that you’re allergic too,” Abernathy-Carver said.
Gates says those allergic to mulberry and ash can expect to see that type of pollen in the air sometime in March, likely sooner than later given the weather.