Navigation Links
'Off-the-Charts' Pollen Counts Bring Misery to Millions
Date:4/16/2010

Recent weather patterns plus climate change driving the trend, experts say

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- A cold winter followed by a sudden and sustained warming trend, not to mention the botanical blossoming that global warming has brought, has boosted pollen counts to near-record highs across the United States this spring, experts say.

All of that has led to one of the most miserable allergy seasons in recent memory for the 50 million Americans who find themselves suffering itchy eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats this time of year.

"In Atlanta, we recently saw the second highest pollen count ever -- 5,733. A level of 1,500 is considered very high, so this was off the charts," explained meteorologist Carl Parker, from The Weather Channel. Pollen counts are measured in grains of pollen per cubic meter in a sample that's collected over a 24-hour period.

As so often happens, weather is largely to blame.

"Timing is everything and, in a lot of years, you might have bouts of warm followed by cold. This year, across a lot of the country, we were cold for a long time, and then the air pattern warmed and it was like we flipped a switch," Parker said.

Adding to the problem "is the same system that's bringing in the warm air has also been blocking rainstorms from coming in, and normally, rain comes through and knocks the pollen down, clearing things out," he said.

The pollen problem is primarily affecting areas east of the Rocky Mountains, said Parker. In the west, he noted, there are still areas that are getting snow.

Another factor in the increased pollen counts is climate change. Parker said that concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased in the past 100 years, and plants thrive on increasing levels of CO2. "Some types of pollens have doubled because of climate change," said Parker.

"CO2 is good for plants and they're making more pollen," agreed Dr. David Rosenstreich, director of the division of allergy and immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. In addition, he said, "Pollen seasons are lengthening a little bit because of global warming."

Still, Rosenstreich said that counts will vary from year to year, and although they're particularly high right now, they may not stay that way for the whole allergy season.

One bit of good news for allergy sufferers is that the allergy season is "on fast-forward," he said. "It's all happening right now." Most of the tree pollens should start to decrease in the next couple of weeks.

Whatever the pollen count, Rosenstreich stressed that there's no need to suffer through allergy symptoms. "We have medicines that can help," he said.

If you're taking preventive medications for your allergies, Rosenstreich said that it's important to take them in advance and as directed by your doctor.

"Most allergy medicines work better to prevent allergic symptoms than to treat them when they're in progress," he explained.

Both Rosenstreich and Parker had other tips for those with allergies on high pollen count days:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible. But, be sure to keep your windows closed so the pollen doesn't get in. Parker said that if you must go out, it's best to avoid the morning hours because pollen is much worse then.
  • Keep your windows closed and run your air conditioner. It doesn't need to be set to cool, just to filter the air. Make sure the filters for your air condition are clean, however.
  • Use the air conditioning in your car to filter the air.
  • If you have to do yard work, Parker suggested wearing a mask to help cut down on the amount of pollen you'll breathe in.

And, finally, with a suggestion that's sure to make mothers across America happy, Parker said he'd recently heard that eating certain vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts might lessen allergy symptoms.

More information

Check the pollen counts where you live, by visiting the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.



SOURCES: Carl Parker, on-air meteorologist, The Weather Channel, Atlanta; David Rosenstreich, M.D., director, division of allergy and immunology, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Pollen.com Launches Features to Customize Allergy Information - Top Allergy Web Site Provides ZIP-specific Allergy Information and Diary to Track Symptoms
2. Pollen.com Reports Five U.S. Cities with Highest Pollen Activity -- Total Prescriptions for Allergy Medications 3.7% Higher than Last Year
3. Senate Restrictions on Flexible Spending Accounts Spur New Campaign
4. Save Flexible Spending Plans Applauds Amendment to Protect Flexible Spending Accounts
5. bioMerieux Selects Brainware to Automate Accounts Payable
6. Corporate Vision Discounts Making Corrective Surgery More Affordable
7. DiscountSupplements.com Launches Website With the Cheapest Supplements Prices and Fastest Shipping
8. Research findings expected to ease treatment of low neutrophil counts in cancer patients
9. DynGlobal and Project Hope Partner to Bring Permanent Clean Water Solutions to Devastated Haiti
10. Discovery Healths New Year, New You Week Brings Transformation and Inspiration to the Resolution Season
11. Aprima and Iatric Systems Partnership Brings Electronic Health Record and Practice Management Solution to MEDITECH Providers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a ... waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What ... is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate ... people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit ... from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and ... explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, ... puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile coaching ... contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise Agile ... of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS programs. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian ... On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers ... a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/13/2017)... has been named the official orthopedic and sports medicine ... 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to be played ... Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud to be ... many activities leading up to, and including the national championship ... OrthoAtlanta serves ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... -- Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, ... ... Hearing Aids ... store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... ... to Washington DC ... September 12 th – Monday, September 18 th .The Brain Tumor ... brain scans to the public.Where:  BTF,s Mobile MRI ... K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its nationwide initiative, the Road to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: