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Pollen, high winds, and dust trigger allergies across the Las Vegas area

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Posted at 8:57 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 01:13:38-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Pollen counts are high at the moment in the Las Vegas area with ragweed, sage, and other particulates. Along with high winds that are kicking it up and causing problems for people.

Runny noses, eye irritation, and sore throats are commonplace with so many allergens in the air. But dusty days hit some people harder than others.

“I’m not allergic to anything,” said Rayan, a young Las Vegas skater at Desert Breeze Park. “We’re fine. No coughing.”

“[My] daughter’s at practice, but I’m in the car, though,” said Shay Kerby, a Las Vegas local. “You’ll notice where I’m at, I’m not out there.”

Her daughter has asthma but keeping a mask on while mom watches close by is how she beats back the dust.

“You just have to do the best you can,” said Kerby. “She’s got to go out and she’s got to do what she’s got to do.”

Difficulty breathing and congestion are two symptoms no one wants to have. Especially with worries of catching COVID-19, it creates new challenges for doctors.

“With the pandemic, it’s often difficult to distinguish when people come in with new-onset symptoms and they’re beginning to cough,” said Dr. Joel Katz, director of the Allergy and Asthma Center on Box Canyon Drive.

"If people are having more symptoms, such as malaise, fever, etc., then we are suggesting that they go and get COVID-tested before they get seen at the doctor’s office.”

And often enough, a good old-fashioned rinsing or shower can be the best way to clear out your sinuses and flush out the dust. Especially for those with minor reactions to allergens.

“You can try doing nasal saline rinses to wash all of the particulates out of your nasal cavity,” said Dr. Katz. “And you can try an antihistamine decongestant to see if it helps settle down the symptoms.”

Dr. Katz does warn, however, that decongestants can elevate your blood pressure and increase your heart rate.