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What causes allergies in Las Vegas?

Sneezing? Eyes itchy? It could be the mulberry trees in your front yard causing it.

By now, most of Clark County’s allergy sufferers are, well, suffering. Joel Katz, M.D., an allergist with the Las Vegas-based Allergen Asthma Center, says the primary culprits are mulberry trees, which are pollinating as we speak, and olive trees, which begin pollinating next month. Both of those are now illegal to plant in the Valley, but there are plenty of other sources, including but not limited to Bermuda grass, mesquite trees, tamarisk trees, oak trees, palo verde trees, sagebrush and tumbleweeds.

Most sufferers are likely on OTC or prescription medication, but for those trying to duke it out on their own, here’s a few tips from Dr. Katz:

•Keep windows closed and use air-conditioning in both your home and car.

•Pollen count is highest early in the morning, so try staying indoors then.

•Shower and wash your hair before going to bed. It removes allergens which would otherwise end up on your bedding.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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