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Flowering Allergy Season in the Prescott | The daily courier

The haze that you have seen in the entire Prescott area in the last few days is neither smoke nor fog. It's juniper pollen that bursts into the air.

Since not everyone is familiar with this annual phenomenon, it often leads to misunderstandings, such as false fire reports.

"Every year, when we get the first big warm-up and the junipers decide to pop and release their pollen, we invariably receive calls," said Conrad Jackson, a firefighter at the Prescott Fire Department.

This is no different this year.

"Right outside the gates, we had a smoke screening mission this morning," Jackson said Tuesday, March 26.

Crews came in and inspected the area, but nothing was found related to fire.

"They've found that what everyone saw was actually plenty of juniper pollen just pouring out of the trees," Jackson said.

The pollen count in Prescott has skyrocketed this week. Sites like weather.com and pollen.com indicate Prescott tree pollen is essentially as tall as their scales can measure. Pollen.com has even ranked Prescott as one of the five worst allergic US cities on Wednesday, March 27th. Other cities that led the list were Goodland, Kansas; Pueblo, Colorado; and Springfield, Missouri.

This pollen contains more than just fake 911 reports – sneezing, stuffy eyes, watery eyes, and other annoying allergy symptoms.

Juniper flower pollen are unique in that they can cause allergic reactions in individuals who have no environmental allergy or sensitivity.

For many people, it may take some time for these allergies to develop.

"I've been in Prescott since 2005 and had allergies only two years ago," said Eddie Chalfoun, another firefighter from the Prescott Fire Department.

The degree of suffering can vary from year to year for each person.

"I did not get them last year, and this year they're back in full force," Chalfoun said.

Although allergies are not curable, there are some effective methods of treating the symptoms. Following are tips provided by Community Health Services of Yavapai County.


To reduce exposure to things that cause signs and symptoms of your allergy (allergens), try the following measures:

• Stay dry , windy days in the house. The best time to go outside is after a good rainfall that helps remove pollen from the air.

• Delegate mowing, pulling weeds, and other gardening that causes allergens.

• Remove clothes that you have worn outside and shower to flush pollen from skin and hair.

• Do not hang laundry outdoors – Pollen can adhere to bedsheets and towels.

• When working outdoors, wear a pollen mask.


There is no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens in the air in your home, but these suggestions can help:

• Use the air conditioning in home and Automobile.

• If you have convection heating or air conditioning in your home, use highly efficient filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.

• Keep the room air dry with a dehumidifier.

• Use portable fine air (HEPA) filters in your bedroom.

• Clean the floors frequently with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.


Various types of non-prescription medications can relieve allergy symptoms. These include:

Oral antihistamines: Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eyes. Examples of oral antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), and fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy).

Decongestants: Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others) may provide temporary relief of nasal insulin. Decongestants are also found in nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-synephrine). Use nasal decongestants only for a few days in a row. Longer term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually aggravate the symptoms (rebound congestion).

Nasal Spray: Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can alleviate allergy symptoms and has no serious side effects, although it is most effective when you start using your symptoms.

Combination medications: Some allergy medications combine an antihistamine with a decongestant. Examples are loratadine pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D) and fexofenadine pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D).

In severe cases, your doctor may recommend allergy shots. They are a type of immunotherapy that can make your immune system less susceptible to allergens.


Other natural alternatives such as herbs, essential oils and tinctures are available in the Prescott range. Some, who are believed to help, use a neti pot to cleanse their nasal passages, take vitamin C, eat fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of fluids.

"The symptoms of seasonal allergies can be uncomfortable," said Terri Farneti, a public health specialist at Yavapai Community Health Services. "If you suspect you have seasonal allergies, talk to your doctor. You can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and prescribe a treatment plan. They will likely encourage you to take action to avoid your allergy triggers. You can also recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications. "

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