Pollen Counts Up

By: Jessica Aspiras
By: Jessica Aspiras

"What happened is we had winter then we got this surge of nice warm weather and that's why the trees start to pollinate. They're the first to pollinate."

With spring in full swing the area's weather has been filled with sunshine, warmer temperatures, and vibrant new colors. Flowers and trees that were once skeletons are now blooming with petals and leaves. And it's making it a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors, right?

According to Dr. Renu Govindaiah of the Okemos Allergy Center, not necessarily.

"It depends on what you're allergic to, what may affect you. If you're allergic to ragweed and weeds it may be later on in the season. The people that are suffering now are the ones with tree pollen allergies."

According to Pollen.com, pollen counts are currently the highest in western states and on the east coast. But locally the numbers are also in the red. This week's average is about 9 on a scale of 0-12. So for many folks, the lovely weather outside results in itchy, watery eyes and stuffy noses.

"Unfortunately for pollen allergies the best thing if you're having symptoms is to really try some medications to figure out what it is. You have to know what you're allergic to and when they pollinate. A lot of times mid-morning times are worst. So if you're going to be outside, go later in the evening."

Still for those of you who can't resist a nice day at the park, beware the consequences. Just try not to make your symptoms worse by smelling the flowers.

Many people can alleviate symptoms with over the counter drugs, but your best bet is to avoid an allergy outbreak altogether. Some tips include, keeping you windows and doors closed and instead using your air conditioner. Also don't dry your laundry outside because pollen can stick to it. And avoid going out in the early morning when pollen counts are at the highest.


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