Pollen Signals Start Of Allergy Season
Posted March 28, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
CARY — Allergies keep more than 50 million Americans sneezing almost all year long, and they are at their worst right now in the Triangle.
For the last few weeks, Dr. Dave Judge has been seeing nearly four times the normal number of patients for allergies.
"This is the worst season for the last so many years, so this time people have a lot more allergies than even last year," Judge says.
Pine pollen is to blame to a certain extent, but it is not the main culprit. Oak trees are.
"Oak is very allergenic," Judge says. "A lot of people, a lot of patients suffer because of the oak, and they are severe allergies."
Azaleas may look like a pollen factory, but they are not the worst of your problems. Don Risser, owner of Buchanan's Nursery, says the long blooming season from January through April can cause serious problems.
"For the worst of those trees that cause pollen allergies, I guess the majority of it is early March to mid- to late-April so you've got about a six- to eight-week window in there," Risser says.
For allergy sufferers with a green thumb, gardening is worth the grief.
"They'll be picking up plants and sneezing and wiping their nose, and they're still buying plants," Risser says. "It doesn't slow them down."
To make the time more bearable, here are some things people should remember: