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Weather Impacting Pollen Levels

By Sharon Ko

MEDFORD, Ore. — Mother nature is working hand in hand with allergy season and some say their symptoms are coming on stronger this year.
“Last year ’cause it was cooler we lost a lot of our blossoms and things so they weren’t pollinating. But now I wash my car the other day and I get out and it’s covered in pollen,” says resident Sherry Zisler.

It may feel different this year but doctors say the severity of allergies depend day by day.

“It’s very difficult to forecast pollen counts. It does depend on the weather but there are a lot of other factors. Wind, the exact week that the weather turns nice. So different trees pollinate during different weeks each spring,” says Kevin Park, a doctor at the Asthma and Allergy Center.

Doctors say low winds and rain helps damper the pollen. They say staying indoors may also help but it won’t keep pollen from coming inside.

“Pollen is a very buoyant allergen. So it’s very efficiently dispersed throughout the valley and including indoor environments,” says Park.

Residents say trying to combat allergies is a losing battle.
“You hear these advertisements like try this medicine, oh by the way it causes side effects like heart disease or something. I’d rather go through this week of misery and get through it,” says Zisler.

But some relief may be on its way. This month is when grass typically begins pollinating and peaks in June. In July, high grass levels begin to drop.

During the next couple of weeks doctors suggest home remedies.
“Trying nasal saline irrigation will often be helpful during pollen season. Especially if you work outdoors all day long and you’re exposed to that pollen,” says Park.