Recent rains have created a bumper crop of weeds, wildflowers and allergies as well as plenty of sneezing for allergy sufferers.

Grass and tree pollen counts are expected to be high through the week, according to

Banner Urgent Care is ready to help people with seasonal allergies as well as hay fever, says Sara Kusar, NP and practice leader for Banner Urgent Care’s five Tucson area clinics.

 Kusar says it is easy to spot the allergy sufferer as they come to an urgent care for help.

“They’ve been sneezing for a few days. They have post-nasal drip. They are coughing, feeling congested and tired. Their eyes are swelling, and their nose is itching.’’

Even though plants and trees are in full bloom, it can be tricky to figure out if hay fever is at the root of someone’s nasal misery, she said.

“Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between seasonal allergies and a viral infection,’’ she said.  “With allergies, however, we don’t usually see a fever. The symptoms with allergies are bad but not as bad as the flu.’’

This year, Banner Urgent Care centers are treating many more late cases of flu than last year, up to a nine-percent increase in cold and flu cases from the same time a year ago.

Seeking professional medical treatment for seasonal allergies not only can reduce your misery, it can also prevent a more serious condition from developing, Kusar said.

“Allergies can really be fatiguing and can definitely affect your sleep and overall quality of life. There’s always a chance that an allergy can become viral or bacterial sinusitis over time. Or allergies can trigger asthma.’’

Antihistamines are a good course of treatment for most seasonal allergies and they come with few side effects, she said.

“Generally, if they are used for a short duration of time, the side-effect profile is going to be minimal,’’ he said. “They are pretty benign.’’

Kusar also recommends using saline spray daily as a first course of action.