Allergy Season Shifts Gears
There is good news for many hay fever sufferers! The first leg of the pollen season has run its course. Trees are fully leafed now and while they will put out trace amounts of pollen all the way until fall frosts arrive, for all intents and purposes trees are no longer capable of severe allergic reactions.
Gone are the barbaric 5,000 grains per cubic meter days and in their place are days with 10 grains or less of tree pollen. That's a 500% decrease and reason to sound the all clear for tree pollen sufferers.
To recap, it has been a punishing tree pollen season with levels not reached in 30 years occurring so early in the season. Beginning in mid March all the way through late April trees went on a six week pollinating tear. Given the abnormally warm start to spring, tree pollens reached their wheezing and sneezing peak 3 weeks early in early April.
Of course trees are just one third of the pollen story as now grasses take over where the trees left off. Less allergenic to most, grasses will enjoy a 4-6 week run of pollinating, peaking in mid June and over by 4th of July picnics.
Then for all of July and the start of August, the air will be largely free of pollens as the Dog Days of Summer offer pollens a siesta of sorts.
Still, the shortening days and lengthening nights of late summer will start the clock ticking on Ragweed! Always the worst of the naturally occurring pollens, ragweed starts out slowly in early August comes on like gang busters in late August and peaks in September.
Those who suffer from Ragweed know the drill all too well, lost days at work and school, curtailment of outdoor fun and a trip to the doctor’s office are a mainstay every year.
One last living and thriving nemesis to create allergic reactions is not a pollen but instead a form of fungus. Mold spores are colonies of microscopic air borne growths that are thrust into the environment by funguses like downy mildew, mushrooms and mold. During wet periods in spring and summer, molds are capable of producing severe allergic reactions in many.
So while the tree season has run its course, there will always be something lurking in the shadows ready to send people to the medicine cabinet. For those people, the thought of the first frost can’t come soon enough.
My daily hay fever report runs at 5:58 nights when storms are not prowling our region.