Spring brings pollen woes

Cars losing their natural color to a yellow coating and eyes and noses developing a crimson hue are tell-tale signs that pollen season has officially arrived.

As a result, students may inhale the airborne pollens of certain trees, grasses and weeds.

Ronald Staff, of the Allergy and Asthma Diagnostic Treatment Center, said pollen attaches to your skin and clothing.

“A shower after coming from outside would reduce the pollen grain deposits you inhale …” Staff said.

Pollen is at its peak between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Tree pollen is a major pollen type in the spring. Some trees that emit pollen in Tallahassee are Oak, Juniper and Ash trees, which are significant allergens according to pollen.com.

According to the allergy alert forecast for Tallahassee, the pollen levels are at their highest during this time of the year.

Grasses have higher allergic potential than pollen from trees or weeds, according to the Forsyth County Environmental Affairs Web site.

The Environmental Affairs Department developed a Pollen Rating Scale to measure the different densities of pollen. The Web site reports there are five PRS categories: absent, low, moderate, high and very high.

The Department provides a report on weekdays measured by the PRS.

According to the Web site, trees have had the dominant pollen density for the past three days, going from very high to high to moderate, while the grasses and weeds have been low or absent.

General symptoms are sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, coughing and itchy eyes.

“I usually experience itchy eyes, a runny nose, constant sneezing and headaches,” said Shayana Lemon, 22, a junior elementary education student from Atlanta.

“I get a runny nose, drainage and [pollen] makes me lose my voice,” said Pamela Graham, an office manager for the English department.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can help provide a little relief for the itchy-eye victims.

“Over-the-counter Claritin is very safe and effective,” Staff said.

Nasal steroids are highly recommended but available only by prescription.

However, for some, the medication provides only temporary relief.

“The medicine works for the time being and then it wears off,” said Regina Dawson, 18, a freshman elementary education student from Tallahassee.

“It usually gets real bad when you can see the pollen on the car”

Treatment for more severe symptoms would require a prescription from a physician.

“Zyrtec, Claritin-D and Singulair, which has recently been approved for allergy and asthma, are popular medications,” said Akilah Simone a pharmacy intern at Eckerds.

contact raquel moore at raquelmoore00@hotmail.com