Allergy season in full swing in eastern NC


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pollen – it’s everywhere.

It’s on cars; “It makes my red car look yellow!”

It’s on streets; “It’s not really fun!”

It’s in your system; “It’s horrible this year. It’s making me sneeze a lot.”

Allergists are well aware.

“When you see all those yellow pollen over your car, we know that we are very busy!” said Sherif Taha, M.D. for Allergy Partners of Eastern Carolina.

For many in our area, pollen is worse than just a dirty car.

“Running, stuffy, sneeze, itch, itchy watery eyes, swollen eyelid, ear popping, congestion,” said Taha.

The culprit is wind borne pollinating plants, such as river birch, red cedar, oak, pine, and maple trees.

“They have two goals in mind,” said Eric Derstine, horticulture extension agent. “Spread as much pollen as they can as quickly as they can.”

This is a catkin and it sends up to six million pollen grains per each individual catkin.

“They act on the mucus membranes of the airways and nose and initiates an allergic reactions,” said Taha.

Although it’s taken a long time to switch from snow on our windshields to pollen, this delay of the start of spring has caused a big problem.

“It’s essentially amplified because all of these trees that may have been opening up a little earlier are now opening up releasing pollen at the same time as these later pollen producing plants,” said Derstine.

But don’t worry; Dr. Taha says there is relief in sight; “There are very good remedies now from medications to allergy shots which can help out a lot.”

In the meantime, hope the pollination passes soon.

“Just put your head down and truck through it,” said Derstine. “Hopefully in a week or so it won’t be as big of an issue.”

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