Lourdes Ear, Nose & Throat can help with the nastier than average allergy season.
An unusually warm February can cause flowers, trees, and plants to bloom weeks early. The warmer temperatures have left grasses and weeds still green, which means earlier pollination.
Changes in temperature during winter and spring play an important role on the pollen levels. Warm temps will lead to increased pollen count while sudden drops in temperature can freeze tree pollen production. This past January, we had many days of record high temperatures in the Tri Cities. If the mild temperatures persist into the spring, higher pollen counts will be found earlier in the season. It is early February and the buds on the trees are ready to burst now as opposed to the norm of late February or early March.
According to Pollen.com, our pollen count started in January! On January 29, the pollen count was 4.3, which lands in the low to medium category on a scale of 12. On February 6, the pollen count was 4.8 which still lands in the low to medium category but it just keeps getting higher! On February 8, just two days later, the count was 5.4! In our region, we are seeing Juniper, Elm, Maple and Birch beginning to pollinate. With high winds, tree pollen can travel for miles.
What can we do about this? Well, besides regular and proper use of allergy medication, keep an eye on the pollen count. When the temperatures are lower, pollen will not circulate. In spring and summer, as the day warms up, pollens will be more intense with wind. By keeping an eye on the pollen count, you will know when to take allergy medication, especially if you are going to spend any time outside. Wearing a mask outdoors during a high pollen count and showering immediately upon coming inside are just a couple of suggestions to keep your allergies at bay. Also, pull those weeds before they get a chance to pollinate!
When keeping an eye out on the pollen count, it is good to know what you might be reacting to. Our office can perform an allergy skin test to identify the allergens you are most sensitive to. We also offer a walk-in allergy shot clinic on Tuesdays from 12:30pm-3:30pm & Thursdays from 8am to 3:30pm. Lastly, don’t be concerned about the beautiful flowers in your yard. Most fragrant, flowering plants and trees are insect pollinated, not wind pollinated.
For more information on allergy testing, call Lourdes Ear, Nose & Throat at (509) 545-4800 or visit Lourdes-ENT.com
Kim Johnson RN, BSN
1200 N. 14th Ave. Suite 350