Allergies! When NJ can finally expect pollen to go away
Have you noticed?
If you look at your car’s windshield in the morning, you’ll see something unusual for this time of year, and it’s making a lot of New Jerseyans feel lousy.
It’s a light-yellowish coating of pollen that is actually a variety of late blooming tree and grass pollens.
It’s causing a variety of allergic symptoms, including congestion, itchy eyes and general feelings of malaise.
“This has been a very potent year for pollen,” said allergy expert Dr. Leonard Bielory, a Rutgers University professor of medicine.
He said while New Jersey did not get an early start to this year’s allergy season because of persistent colder temperatures during the late winter and early spring, we did get a tremendous amount of rain, and that’s produced very high volumes of pollen for the past few months.
“We initially had an incredible crunch of the trees pollinating all at once, we had an incredible surge where multiple trees eclipsed each other,” he said. “And right now we have the grass pollen along with tree pollen."
Bielory said while tree pollen counts are not as high as they were last month, they continue to be elevated, causing a variety of sinus problems, while grass pollen is producing more ocular-related symptoms, including so-called “gunky eyes.”
“We’re continuing to see tree pollination on top of the grass pollen, which is incredibly high due to the amount of moisture we have had over the past six weeks," Bielory said.
He pointed out in addition to pine tree pollen, there is also pollen from beech, birch and oat trees in the air, which is highly unusual for the second week of June.
“Tree pollen should have ended already, it usually ends in the last week in May, but it will fade out within a week or so," he said.
Bielory added grass pollen will stick around for another three or four weeks, then begin to fade as well — so if you’re sensitive to pollen, make sure you carry tissues in your pocket.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.
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