Pollen counts at a high; how to survive the yellow storm

By Derek Kinkade   - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - If you've spent anytime outdoors the past couple of days, you may have seen a hazy, discolored sky thanks to the yellow clouds of pollen. 

Lately, the pollen clouds seem to be more numerous than the regular ones.  With the fine yellow dust coating most everything outside, there are a few things you can do to ease any symptoms you may be having.

  Kary Papsis is the assistant manager of the Tomar Garden Center in Columbus.   She's an allergy sufferer, but has a trick for when it comes to working outside.

"The first thing I do is rinse everything off and then I go working out in the yard, and I won't get as itchy or sneezy or congested as I normally would," she says.

Rain would help as well, but the experts at the Allergy Center at Brookstone say that it would just be a temporary fix.

"Rain is going to wash a lot of pollen out of the air, but after the rain is gone and things warm up and dry out, you're gonna have pollen counts come back," says Dr. Robert Chrzanowski.

Now, if you think this pollen season has been a bit unusual, you're right.

Dr. Chrzanowski says, "Normally it would start in mid-February with cedar pollen, but as we would hit March it would be a gradual process."

However, with the unusually cold winter we've had, plants and trees delayed their flowering until just recently -- causing an explosion of pollen of all kinds. 

Doctors recommend trying over the counter medication first, and then seeking a doctor if your condition worsens or persists.  And as for what kind of medicine to take?  It seems everyone has a different opinion.  As for Papsis, she swears by just one.

"Zyrtec is just the one I use because it's the best one for me,"

And that's the trick according to the people we talked to today.  Try different kinds of medication until you find one that relieves your symptoms without making you feel drowsy.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.