Allergy season blows into the borderland

Allergy season blows into the borderland
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 7:23pm

Kandolite Flores is like a lot of El Pasoans. For her, March equals misery.

"I'm always sniffling, I always have a Kleenex in my hand," Flores told NewsChannel 9 Wednesday.

Like many in the borderland, Flores suffers from allergies.

She said her runny nose started up about two weeks ago.

"The first thing I ran to do is what everyone does, go to Walgreens," she said, "go somewhere and get the over-the-counter stuff."

El Paso pediatrician Dr. Teresa Marquez-Smith said while she does recommend some of the newer allergy medications to her patients (particularly the kind that won't leave you groggy), the best bet, in her opinion, is to simply go see a doctor.

Flores has already made her appointment.

She said in the past, a steroid treatment from her physician was able to fix what the "over-the-counter stuff" couldn't.

Dr. Marquez-Smith said the best way to ease allergies is to undergo an allergy test to pinpoint the allergen and help prevent a flare-up, rather than treating symptoms with a purchase form the drug store.

Flores agrees.

"A lot of those medications that you needed prescriptions for you can now get cheap and quick," she said.

"But you really don't know what you're taking, you just want to be numb to all the symptoms you're having and it doesn't really help."

Marquez-Smith pointed out that El Paso's geography doesn't make things easy on allergy sufferers, either.

Mulberry trees and pecan groves surround the city, and the mountains and valley trap the wind and blowing pollen, creating a snow globe effect.

"So even when it's windy, the pollen just kind of sits here in this area and it never really completely disappears."

NewsChannel 9's resident weather expert, Chuck Debroder, said a drier than usual winter has also provided the gusts with plenty of allergy ammunition.

"The drought, overall, just makes it easy for the winds that normally wouldn't kick up a lot of dust to do just that," he said.

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