Health & Science
9:10 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Seasonal Allergies Begin Late, but Still Pack a Punch

Does it seem a lot of people around you have suddenly come down with a sore throat or cough? The likely culprit is trees – tree pollen, to be specific.

This time of year, just about every tree in the area is pollinating. They’re shedding the tiny, powdery stuff that makes life miserable for some people. Greenfield allergist Dr. Gary Steven says the season arrived late.

The tree pollen in the air is causing many people to suffer, with frequent sneezes, itchy eyes and other unpleasant symptoms
Credit Photos.com

“The tree pollen season usually starts in the last week of March or first week of April, but it was so cold and damp and rainy that we didn’t really see any significant pollen until late April, early May,” Steven says.

And lately, it’s been swirling.

“Pollen really likes warm, dry windy weather like what we’re having now, and that blows the pollen around and we all breathe it in and we start to react to it, if we’re allergic to tree pollens,” Steven says.

Steven says most people can get through the tree pollinating period by toughing it out or using over-the-counter allergy medicine. If you’re really suffering, though, or are worried about a child’s allergy symptoms, he recommends going to a doctor.

The pollen from trees should only circulate for another couple of weeks. However, relief might not last long. In June, grass pollen kicks up, followed by weed pollen in July. Then in August, it’s time for the most bothersome pollen for many sufferers: ragweed.