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News Section: Environment



Pollen Count Continues to Plague Allergy Sufferers

Published Monday, March 24, 2014 12:09 am

BRADENTON – If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may have noticed that this spring has been particularly miserable. That green dust that's been accumulating on your care and lanai is most likely to blame, as pollen counts in the area have been near record highs for the last couple of weeks. According to experts, it's only going to get worse.

AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok explained that a persistent area of high pressure stationed off the coast of New England will create wetter conditions here this spring, which is ideal for the production of tree pollen, which he expected to be most prolific here in the Southeast, at least early on.

Because of its climate, the Southeast is hit the hardest by spring allergies. Allergist Neil Kao, M.D., told Accuweather.com that spring allergies are primarily triggered by tree pollens and mold, which thrive in the eastern United States during spring.

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According to Accuweather.com, this year's unique winter has made it even worse. Tree pollen is produced rapidly and all at once in the Southeast, which makes it such a hotbed for severe spring allergies. West of the Mississippi, there's not as much tree density and climate conditions are not as likely to produce sudden outbreaks of pollen.

The pollen particles are very small, making it possible for them to spread by wind alone as far as 200 miles according to DR. Kao. He says that the severity of tree pollen allergies depends on the growth of those trees.

In the Southeast, where oaks and maples are plentiful, the warmer air and intermittent rain that typically accompanies spring create ideal conditions for rapid tree growth.

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