Extreme pollen sending allergy sufferers into misery

Delayed spring means higher, later peak; oak high now, but pine on the way

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Extreme pollen sending allergy sufferers into misery
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Extreme pollen sending allergy sufferers into misery: Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 6pm on May 8, 2018.

MT. LAUREL, N.J. (WPVI) -- It's hiding in the trees all over the tri-state area. It's pollen, and it's making a whole lot of people miserable this spring.

We are suffering thru one of the worst allergy seasons in a long time.

It's Spring - finally the leaves are on the trees, but that comes with a consequence: pollen. Right now, the levels are extreme and the bad news - the expert we talked to in Mt. Laurel said the pollen count is not likely to go down any time soon.

A video sent to us by viewer perfectly illustrates the pollen problem.

Eric Henderson was at work on Cedar Lane in Millville, New Jersey Monday. He taps a tree with the machinery he was driving and a shower of pollen comes raining down.

But the deluge is not limited to that tree.

Pollen is coating all sorts of surfaces and making things miserable for allergy sufferers.

"There's been a lot of pollen out here," said Dave Lewis of Moorestown, N.J.

Cynthia Nguyen of Burlington, N.J. added, "It's been killing me. I am so sniffly."

"I know a lot of people who've already put on the air conditioning even on cool nights, like our neighbors, because they're very affected by it," said Christopher Biddle of Moorestown, N.J.

"You're being exposed to the peak levels of pollen," says Dr. Donald Dvorin, of the Asthma Center, an allergist certified in pollen counting from the National Allergy Bureau.

He uses a Burkard trap collector on the rooftop of the Asthma Center office in Mt. Laurel to capture pollen samples on a slide every day.

A microscopic look shows very high concentrations of pollen particles today.

Check the daily pollen levels here.

"The tree pollen is at the extreme level and out of those trees, it's the oak trees with the highest by far," Dr. Dvorin says.

He explained that pollination in this area is delayed about 10 days because of snow in March and cool days in April.

"This time last year, we were almost done with all the pollen, but this year we are much later than we usually are and we're seeing it last a lot longer," he notes.

For allergy sufferers he advises staying indoors during peak pollen times between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and keep up on allergy medication.

"For allergy sufferers, it's tremendously difficult to deal with this," he adds.

It doesn't look like there's any end in site.

Dr. Dvorin says in this region, pine trees will really start pollinating in the next few days.

He doesn't expect pollen counts to start to go down for at least another 10 days.

As he advised, keep up with the medication and stay indoors between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. when pollen counts are extremely high.