Allergy season arrives in full force in the Triangle

April 9, 2013 12:58:01 PM PDT
The allergy season has officially hit the Triangle.

The warm weather beckoned big blooms to open across the area.

"There's been an explosion of pine and oak pollen in the last few days," said Mary Clark, with the N.C. Division of Air Quality, who counts how much pollen is in the air.

Sticky collection rods on top of a downtown Raleigh building catch the pollen, and then Clark counts what's on the rods under a microscope.

Because of this year's weather, there was no gradual slide into allergy season. Friday, Clark said there were five pollen counts per cubic meter. By Monday, she counted 750 per cubic meter.

She expects more than 1,000 Tuesday, which is what she usually sees in the peak of the season.

Clark's pollen count goes out all over the state, and gives allergists like Dr. Gurvinder Deogun an idea of what's to come.

"I know that the phones are going to start ringing and we're going to have a lot of sick patients coming in," said Deogun.

So with pollen exploding in the air, is it too late for medicine to help?

"If you already have a lot of stuffy nose, taking simple antihistamine may not do the trick," said Deogun. "Sometimes prescription meds work better."

Can you just cough, sniffle, and sneeze through allergy season?

"In general, most people will worsen as they get older," said Deogun.

One tip to help if you suffer from allergies, don't go for a walk or run outside in the morning. That's when pollen is the worst.

If you do go outside in the morning, you may want to shower off or at least change your clothes when you are done to remove the pollen.

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