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Wednesday pollen count more than tripled; continues into next week


SYLACAUGA, Ala.- The time has changed, the sun is out past 7:00 p.m. and the temperatures have reached the mid-to-high 70s. This seems to be everyone’s favorite time of the year until people start to notice the golden dust caked on their vehicles every morning.

Yes, the pollen is falling…and falling fast. Watery eyes, headaches, itchy throats, coughs, congestion and even more severe symptoms are set to affect you or people around you in the coming weeks as the pollen continues to accumulate at a rapid pace.

The reason for so much pollen falling this early in the year is directly related to the warm temperatures the area saw throughout the month of February. “The winter-time temperature plays a huge role in our pollen count each year,” said 98.3 WFXO meteorologist Dan Holiday. “Since the plants do not run off a calendar like we do, this year’s warmer than normal pattern has allowed pollen to start earlier and become higher than normal.”

So how much pollen has fallen?

A lot.

The Allergy Supervisor at Southern Head and Neck Surgery in Alexander City, Mickie James, told pollen count is measured on a scale of 1-12. Jones said the average pollen count for this tome of year is a normally around a three. The pollen count for Wednesday tripled that number coming in at 10.6.

If the pollen is already affecting you, then you will have a few rough days upcoming. Holiday told the next five days appear to be running in the high category, and the weekend rate will stay between 10 and 11.5 on the pollen scale.

Most of the pollen seen on cars and houses comes from pine trees, but that is not the pollen that causes people problems. The allergy causing pollen comes from maple, elm and juniper trees. These trees produce light pollen that floats unnoticed in the air. That is why pollen allergies are almost impossible to prevent. The pollen is simply in the air we all breathe everyday, but Jones said there are a few ways you can reduce the effect the pollen will have on your body.

First Jones said to roll your vehicle windows up. Although many enjoy having the sunroof open or the doors off of their jeep, she said this is not a good idea especially if you are already suffering from pollen allergies this early in the season. Secondly she said to wear a dust mask if possible. This tip is geared more towards those who work in landscaping or anywhere outdoors. Lastly, she mentioned medicines. She recommended taking an over the counter medication such as Allegra, or even taking an allergy shot from your doctor.

For those who suffer from allergy related issues all year long, Jones said it is imperative that you continue to stay on prescribed allergy medications and treatments. Many who have lasting allergy issues can be affected more than the average person once the pollen starts circulating in the air. She said she has seen numerous patients hospitalized because of allergy induced asthma and pneumonia, and warned against ignoring allergy symptoms.

Jeremy Law for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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