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Is there an end in sight for this brutal pollen season?

Tree pollen levels should decrease by the second half of May
Pollen is one of the many causes of allergies.
Pollen is one of the many causes of allergies.(WALB)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 8:44 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s no secret that the pollen and resulting allergies have been absurdly bad this spring here in Central Alabama. The burning question that everyone has is, “When will it get better?!”

Unfortunately we are in the thick of the worst time of year for many people who suffer from pollen allergies. It’s the tree pollen that is causing your problems, and it has been brutal since the beginning of March due to a variety of factors -- early season bloom, weather that has supported pollen, among others.

It doesn’t look like it will improve until the second half of May.

The top allergens in Alabama by month.
The top allergens in Alabama by month.(WSFA 12 News)

Tree pollen is lightweight and can travel very efficiently through the air. Combine with that highly allergenic trees like oak, pecan, elm, juniper, maple, poplar, and sycamore and you’re got the recipe for plenty of sneezing and wheezing.

By the third week of May you will notice the amount of tree pollen drop significantly. That is fantastic news if you’ve been suffering so far this spring because the types of pollen we have in our air will be changing!

If you’re allergic to grass pollen, then the news may not be so great.

Grass pollen can be very problematic as well. Similar to tree pollen, there are plenty of people who suffer from some sort of grass allergy. Grass pollen season ramps up during the last week of April and carries through the summer months.

Tidbits about pollen/allergy season in 2021.
Tidbits about pollen/allergy season in 2021.(WSFA 12 News)

It can go as late as late September in parts of Alabama, but the worst of grass pollen season is usually from early May through early August.

But that’s not all! There’s also weed pollen that can cause big-time problems in Alabama and surrounding states. Weed pollen season ramps up in July and stays in high gear in August, September and even the first half of October in some years.

Ragweed is the biggest offender in this category, and it can lead to substantial problems for allergy sufferers during the late summer and early fall months.

Alabama is one of the worst states for allergy sufferers due to the climate and diverse plant species littered across the state. As a result, there aren’t just a few months each year with big-time pollen problems; there are 7-8 months.

While it’s hard to say whether or not the grass and weed pollen will be as ridiculous as the tree pollen has been so far, there are some things you can do to combat your pollen allergies as much as possible. Some of those include:

  • Avoid time outdoors between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on high pollen count days
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Bathe before going to bed
  • Change clothes whenever you come in from the outdoors
  • Wash clothes that have been exposed to the outdoors during the morning and early afternoon
  • Take allergy medication before the pollen levels get overly high
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses
  • Check the pollen forecast daily

No matter what you do, you’re probably not going to rid your pollen allergies completely. What you can do is try as many of the things mentioned above as possible to make it more tolerable for you to spend time outside.

If you know what pollen triggers your allergies, check out this Alabama pollen calendar to see when that specific pollen typically peaks!

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