If you can’t stop reaching for the Kleenex, and if your eyes are red, itchy, burning, and watery, you know spring is in the air — and so is the pollen.
Wednesday’s pollen count has climbed up to 2,204, putting the region in the “extremely high range,” according to the National Allergy Bureau (NAB). The main tree pollen contributors are oak, pine, sweet gum, hackberry and birch. Pollen counts have been in the high or extremely high range for the past nine days.
So your allergies may be acting up, and while the high pollen count is not unprecedented for this time of year, it may feel particularly intense thanks to dramatic swings in temperatures during recent weeks.
When the weather turned cooler earlier this month, the pollen counts dropped during cold, and even freezing temperatures. Now that the warm weather has returned, so has the pollen.
And during a re-exposure to spring pollen, some people may experience a more intense reaction in what is referred to as the “priming effect,” according to Atlanta Allergy & Asthma. When people are exposed to an allergen, and then the pollen goes away for a while because of a weather change (recent freezing temperatures) and then they are re-exposed to the allergen (now during warmer temperatures), a person can have an even more intense allergic response because their immune system is primed.
“This is an unusual year,” said Dr. Stanley Fineman of Atlanta Allergy & Asthma. “A lot of people are noticing more…