The tree pollen season is winding down, but the fine powdery pollen of grass will soon be in force, said Dr. Richard Waguespack, clinical professor in the UAB Division of Otolaryngology.
“We’ll soon be transitioning into the grass pollen season,” he said. “And then in the fall is the weed pollen season. The problem here in the South is that all three literally blend one right after another.”
Grass pollen counts in Alabama are low now, but it is still too early to tell how bad this season will be, Waguespack said. A lot will depend on the how much rain falls in the next few weeks. Rain, while temporarily clearing the air, makes the grass grow and produce pollen.
Many associate the tree pollen season with the thick yellow pollen from pine trees coating cars and sidewalks. That’s a good marker that it’s a heavy season, Waguespack said.
But for allergy suffers, it’s the hardwoods – oaks, pecans, hickory – that cause most of the grief, he said.
During grass season, the pollen is not so visible. Bermuda and Timothy grasses are common culprits here, he said, but those allergic to one kind of grass pollen are more likely to be allergic to many grass pollens because the pollens are so much alike.
Not all allergy sufferers are allergic to the pollens from all three seasons, but if you do suffer allergies, your chances are higher of being allergic to more than one thing, Waguespack said.
Waguespack recommends first trying over-the-counter antihistamines such as loratadine, cetirizine, or fexofenadine. Brand names include Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec.
If those don’t work and you’re still miserable, see your doctor or allergist and there may be some prescription relief.