Spring pollen counts rising earlier than usual in Mississippi other parts of southeast

Published 8:00 am Monday, February 25, 2019

JACKSON — Allergy sufferers might want to keep the Kleenex handy. This spring may be shaping up to be particularly pollen-filled season.

Officials from the Mississippi Asthma and Allergy Clinic say spring pollen counts are on the rise earlier than usual this year.

Mississippi typically receives medium to medium-high pollen county, but the unseasonably warm weather the state has experienced this winter may mean that pollen levels could be worse than usual.

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Allergists say weather plays a direct role in the severity and length of the allergy season. Weather conditions will increase the amount of pollen production to yield high pollen levels or decrease pollen production to produce low pollen levels.

A mild winter like what Mississippi is experiencing this year can signify an early allergy season since trees tend to start pollinating earlier.

Here are some allergy prevention tips from pollen.com:

  • Keep your windows closed in your home and car to avoid letting in pollen, especially when the local pollen count is high. Set your air conditioners to re-circulate in your home and vehicle, to avoid drawing in outside pollen-rich air.
  • The pollen counts are the highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., so limiting your outside exposure during those times can be extremely helpful for diminishing your allergies.
  • Limit exposure on mornings that are especially warm and dry; these will usually be the high pollen count days. Days that are dry and windy also have high pollen counts. The best time for outdoor activities is immediately following heavy rainfall.
  • Avoid line drying your clothes and bedding outdoors when your local pollen count is high.
  • Wash your face and hands after you’ve been outside to remove pollen. Also, change and wash clothes if they’ve been exposed to pollen.
  • Bathe and shampoo hair daily before going to bed to remove pollen from hair and skin in order to keep it off your bedding. Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
  • Minimize contact with items that have come in contact with pollen, such as pets and people that have spent a large amount of time outdoors.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen, and in severe allergy cases, wear a facemask when daily pollen counts are extremely high.
  • Visit your allergist or doctor to see if the allergy shot is for you. Be consistent with your allergy medications for best results.