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PHOENIX -- The Valley's allergy specialists have been busy for the past few months and the sneezing and stuffiness will continue for awhile, a specialist said.

Typically the allergy season starts around spring training in February and March. Not this year.

"We started getting lots of calls in January from allergy sufferers," said Dr. Michael Saavedra.

Saavedra said the early start was caused by a warm, dry winter and spring. The Valley also had a few unusually early dust storms and that ramped up the problems for allergy sufferers.

"Those storms have the ability to put more pollen in the air as the wind blows through," he said. "They also bring more particulate matter, pollution."

Saavedra said allergy sufferers will finally catch a break in June and July.

"We're not done. We're still in the peak of allergy season. The pollen counts will remain elevated. It's going to be a difficult spring."

Jim Cross, Reporter

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