It’s Not Just Ach-You

Floyd's pollen prediction for the week. Why so much pollen this year?

I have spoken (in a nasally altered tone punctuated by the occasional sniff) with many first-time pollen allergy suffers this year. And I’m wondering why this year?

The load of pollen certainly has a role–higher counts, increased allergens inhaled. But there have always been high-pollen days every spring. Why would this one be the switch that starts the histamines doing their mean thing in my sinuses?

Turns out, this is a year for the pollen record books. According to the Wapo…

Oak trees are the culprit in many places in the Southeast. The trees produce 3,000 to 6,000 pollen particles per cubic meter; it only takes 10 particles to trigger an allergic reaction.

J.P. Levins, executive Web producer for the site pollen.com, said he’s received a lot of e-mails from suffering Floridians – but he expects more complaints from other parts of the U.S. soon. “The season is actually just picking up,” he said, adding that most of the country is facing high pollen counts.

This year is especially bad in the Southeast, weather experts say, probably due to winter’s unseasonably cold weather.

“That may have helped delay some of the plants from blooming as early as they may have wanted to,” said John Feerick, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather. “It’s the fact that everything is coming out all at once.”

Just picking up. Not what I wanted to hear. Buy stock in Kleenex and sudafed.

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Published by fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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2 Comments

  1. Fascinating information!! Good stuff, Fred! I feel fortunate not to have allergies, but I know it’s a miserable season for so many. Thanks for this post.

    Elora

  2. I used to live on Claritin at this time over the year. Over the last 2-3 years I have completely lost my sensitivity to pollen. I wish I knew what I did because if I could replicate it I could be a very rich man!

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