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      Runny nose? Itchy eyes? Join the club; allergy season picks up

      If you've got the runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and controllable sneezes, you're not along. Allergy season is picking up.

      "Statistically, the highest number of allergy sufferers come around this time in the beginning of spring when it starts to warm up and the pollen starts to circulate in the air," said Amarillo Allergist at Allergy A.R.T.S., Dr. Constantine Saadeh.

      Dr. Sadeeh said we have it particularly rough in the wind in the Panhandle is perfect for stirring up and carring around common irritants like elm and oak tree pollen as well as dust.

      "With our winds, 15 to 20 mph, that usually is an ideal wind to carry the pollens and can cause symptoms," said Dr. Saadeh. "So yes, we typically see more patients around this time."

      One local allergy sufferer, Magali Kelley, said she has definitely seen her symptoms worsen in recent weeks, which is why she continues going to the allergist to receive her weekly allergy shot.

      "When there is a lot of the dust, your eyes get watery and you feel miserable," she said. "You have headaches and with the wind and everything, it gets pretty bad."

      To help keep some of those symptoms under control, Dr. Saadeh recommended taking over the counter medications and avoiding going outside around "peak pollen times" during the day, which are usually between the hours of 4:00-8:00 p.m. If all else fails, see an allergist.

      "Since we can't change the outside, we change the inside," explained Dr. Saadeh. "That's what we're doing when we give patients allergy shots."

      Ignoring allergy symptoms, he added, might lead to further complications.

      "Don't take allergy symptoms lightly," Dr. Saadeh said. "Because they can lead to complications like worsening asthma, sinus infections, even some pneumonias."

      Sadeeh also explained there are certain days that are considered "high pollen days" that are best to avoid being outdoors. For a heads up on when those might occur, keep watching Pronews 7. Every day before our weather forecast on Midday, Five, Six and Ten we'll keep you updated on those pollen numbers.