Get ready for pollen explosion, Georgia experts say

Friday, March 21, 2014 7:12 AM
Last updated 6:48 PM
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Sunny spring days and rising temperatures come with a price – pollen.

Morris News Sevice
While weather experts might not have a clear idea on this season’s pollen counts, many should prepare for an onslaught of yellow powder that tends to blanket the region each year.

And the levels Georgians will see this year depend on a battle between an abundance of vegetation blooming all at once and the cleaning nature of recent rainfall, said David Stooksbury, University of Georgia professor and former state climatologist.

While he expects the unsettled weather seen in the last few months to continue for the next several weeks, once warmer weather moves in and stays expect an explosion of blooming vegetation and higher pollen counts.

“Forecasting pollen severity is difficult because you’re talking about a biological system responding to the physical system of the atmosphere and it’s not a direct one-to-one correspondence,” he said. “We’ve had a cold winter and cold early spring, so we haven’t seen that big flush of flowers blooming yet that results in high pollen counts. ... The severity of pollen could go either way this spring.”

While weather experts might not have a clear idea on this season’s pollen counts, many should prepare for an onslaught of yellow powder that tends to blanket the region each year.

As an allergist at Allergy Partners of Georgia in Athens, Dean Firschein said he sees people struggle with allergies year round, but there’s always an influx of patients during the spring.

Because the Southeast tends to have a longer pollen season than other places in the U.S., working to avoid or tolerate pollen typically involves implementing simple lifestyle changes such as using air conditioning in the car and at home instead of driving with the windows down or keeping windows and doors open at the house, he said.

Other tips include leaving shoes and other outdoor clothing outside, wiping pets down with a wet cloth when they come inside and bathing them frequently, exercising early in the morning or after it rains when pollen counts are lower and drying clothes in a dryer instead of hanging them outside.

“A lot of people, especially children, will track pollen into the home on their clothing,” Firschein said. “We want people to enjoy the spring weather. We just don’t want them to bring it inside with them.”

For those with worse allergies, Firschein suggests over the counter medications like nasal steroid NasaCort and the prescription antihistamine Astepro.

If medications don’t help to relieve symptoms and allergies begin to interfere with daily lives, Firschein said patients might want to consider allergy shots.

“Allergy shots are the only treatment that treat the cause of the disease as opposed to blocking it,” he explained. “It’s natural, it’s not a drug, and many people report severe relief from allergies. The benefits of allergy shots also last for many years.”

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/21/14 - 09:03 am

Some news stories tell us that indoor pollution is worse than outdoor pollution. But here April Burkhart is telling us that outdoors is worse.

Mr. Thackeray
Mr. Thackeray 03/21/14 - 02:13 pm
Had two allergy shots weekly

Had two allergy shots weekly where I used to live (another state)...none since I got here a decade ago!

soldout 03/21/14 - 10:57 pm
naet is easy fix

If you know someone trained in naet they can fix you in 15 minutes and allergy never returns. No drugs, no supplements just an adjustment of your electrical system that runs your immune system. If you run everything through your God filter you know your body should be able to handle the pollen since God made both. Your electrical system gets a little out of whack and you have the problem. The electrical system is the system that makes you uncomfortable when someone is in your face and causes you to wake up when someone leans over you. A lot of what Doctors have called flu or virus lately has been the outdoor air pollution which again can be fixed with naet. It is a much quicker recovery than going to the doctor and taking an anti-biotic that just treats the symptom. Dr. Oz says energy medicine, like naet, is the fastest growing area of medical treatment today and once you experience it you see why.

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