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Allergies expected to pick up this spring

Sunny skies, warm temperatures, and blooming flowers-- sure signs that spring is on the way. And with all those flowers blooming and trees budding, we're starting to see a higher pollen count across the region.

Outside a local Walgreens, you could find plenty of people going in for their allergy medications.

"For me, it's my eyes" says Lucia Martinez. "It is watery eyes and sometimes they get red."

Her husband, Andres Martinez, says he struggles with his nose and throat.

"My nose, sometimes runny nose." Andres says he complains of his throat hurting, especially when there is blowing dust.

And that doesn't come as any surprise. We've seen a lot of blowing dust recently across the Borderland, and with the windy season still ahead of us, we can expect more.

But for people who suffer from pollen allergies, it's already becoming a daily struggle just to go outside.

Lyndon Mansfield, an allergist in Central El Paso, says that a warm winter has had a weird effect on the tree pollen count already.

"We're seeing different parts of the tree ecosystem respond in a funny sort of way," says Mansfield. "We're seeing the highest counts of ash and cedar combined that we've seen in years."

And with the recent wind events too, Mansfield believes that allergy season may be hitting harder than expected.

"We always have the wind, so wind will always carry pollen," Mansfield says. "It really is the pollen, and the breakdown pollen that's in the dust, that gives the people the symptoms."

The best way to combat allergies, according to Mansfield, is with medication.

"There are some very effective agents, which include inter-nasal steroids," Mansfield says. "They're all available, they're all modest in cost and they're very useful."

But while the Martinez family battles allergies, they say it's worth it for the view.

"The winds calm down. And it's beautiful over there in the mountains. We love El Paso!"

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