Tree Pollen Surging Locally - No Relief In Sight For Allergy Sufferers
If you feel like you are coughing and sneezing more this year from seasonal allergies, one local doctor says you are right.
The official pollen count will likely continue to be high this spring in the Cleveland area, said Dr. Tina Abraham, a Senior Allergy and Immunology Fellow with University Hospitals.
The trees, which produce spring pollen, are similar to humans in that they have been waiting anxiously for the snow and cool temperatures to give way to sunshine and warmth.
“And now that it’s better, the trees are just surging with their pollen. Let’s grow, grow, grow. Let’s pollinate while we have the opportunity to do that,” she said.
Dr. Abraham says climate change is also contributing to the overabundance of sniffles and coughs this year.
“The weather is changing and it’s not exactly how we expect any more with spring. And this year we had snow and then in the winter, we had some warm days. So, yeah, the climate change is really affecting how the trees and the plants get to pollinate and grow as well,” Dr. Abraham said.
According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an estimated 7.5 percent of adults and nine percent of American children have seasonal allergies or hay fever. The symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Dr. Abraham says allergy sufferers can take steps to keep pollen outside of their homes and cars.
“Keep your doors and windows closed and use your air conditioner to stay cool. Shower before bedtime so you’re not taking that pollen to bed with you when you’re sleeping at night,” she said.
Dr. Abraham also stressed the importance of taking allergy pills and nasal sprays every day.