The yellow cloud on Saturday morning near the Owensboro Health Regional Hospital was no illusion. The weather was dry and airy and allowed the pollen to slowly move through the city.
Tree pollen is recorded at a very high level in the United States. The south is currently at record levels. Since recording began in 1991, Atlanta, Georgia has had its highest level since 2013, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Jean Owen, practice administrator at Allergy & Asthma Specialists Owensboro, said daily pollen image samples are taken from a spore trap on the roof of the Science Building of the University of Brescia. Samples are then analyzed, recorded as high, medium or low and sent to AccuPollen, a mobile app with pollen counting markers, molds, grasses and weeds.
In Owensboro pollinate all maple trees as well as willow, birch, elderberry, juniper cypress and some sweet chewing gum.
"Sporadically, we see pine pollinate," said Owen.
Owens said pollen clouds depend on the concentration of trees, and when there is a higher concentration of trees, more pollen is released and flows through the air.
"Usually we see people around when people go outside, see their cars or dust their garden furniture with the yellowish-green pollen," Owen said.
Rain helps wash away the pollen, but with the onset of flowering, allergy relief will not come so soon.
Owen said there are several tips to reduce pollen levels for allergy sufferers.
Keeping doors and windows high on pollen is one way to help people with allergies. Wash your hair at night to rinse the pollen and keep the residue off your pillow. Clothing also absorbs pollen, so spreading is also assisted by washing all items.
Pets are also made responsible for allergies, but if the pet is outside, it is also a pollen carrier, so it may need more baths during the pollen season.
If you need to work outdoors, wear a mask that keeps pollen out of your nose and mouth.
Nasal rinses over the counter prevent pollen from sticking to your nose. Antihistamines also help, but if the over-the-counter dosage does not provide any relief, ask your doctor for a prescription or contact an allergist for a review.
Warmer temperatures, the beginning of the growing season and climate change are factors that have to be taken into account in case of longer allergy times.
"The evidence to date is preliminary, but suggests a confluence of factors that favor longer-lasting growth of the harmful weeds and other plants that trigger seasonal allergies and asthma attacks," explains Charles W. Schmidt. a climate change writer, "When exposed to warmer temperatures and higher CO2 levels, plants grow stronger and produce more pollen than they would otherwise."
The Weather channel In the Owensboro area, pollen and allergies are given daily.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is also tracking pollen and spore levels for the United States with three stations in eastern Kentucky.
Owen said the AAAI is also researching climate and allergens.