Hay Fever Season Explodes

Pollen season is back and in a very mean way. TC blogs about the soaring levels of tree pollen.

Tree Pollen Soars

Funny thing happened to me at the gas pump today. As I was filling up at a buck ninety-seven per gallon (no 4 dollar per gallon pumps this summer!), the attendant was dusting off the pump mantle. But it wasn’t dust he was cleaning off rather the fallout from the dreaded yellow oak tree pollination.

As expected, tree pollen levels have soared to barbarically high levels thanks to this early season heat wave. When the tree pollen count tops 100 (grains per cubic meter), the level is considered high. Well today, as Sunday and again on Tuesday, those levels are in the 2 to 4 thousand level. That’s right; our pollen count is now 20 to 40 times higher than high. Can you say Gesundheit? God Bless You!

For the purists, think of a cubic meter as a large box 3 feet long, by 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall, or big enough to roughly cover a new 36" Plasma TV). Now inside that box at any given time there will be an average of 3,000 grains of microscopic tree pollen. Take a deep breathe and guess what? You will be inhaling many of those pollen grains.

Credit the long spells of dogwood winter in April for the explosion of tree pollen. You see rather than the maple, oak and fellow tree species spitting their spring “nectar” into the air all month long, the cold and damp weather kept the trees in a sort of spring slumber.

The lethargy of the trees treated hay fever sufferers to a relatively benign start to the season. Sure there was some wheezing and sneezing, but the really bad days of hacking chests and itchy eyes had escaped us.

Now all the trees are spurting out a season’s worth of tree pollen in a few days. The result, the highest tree pollen levels in several years.

Those levels should tail off second half of the week, assuming soaking showers arrive as expected. But until then, take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.

I will be back after dinner with some tips for coping with the pollen. For now I recommend staying in an air conditioned environment, wearing a face mask when outdoors and washing all clothes that you wear outside since pollen will cling to your clothes and make things worse.

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