Pollen hits the air early in 2011

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Allergy Center At Brookstone's Dr. Robert Cartwright told News Leader Nine that his waiting room is already filling up with people having allergy symptoms, or preparing for the months ahead.

"People do not tend to think about allergies the way they think about other diseases like cancer and heart disease and diabetes but it affects people on a day to day basis more than a lot of others."

The pollen count is high for the end of February and the worst tree pollen producers, like oak, hickory, and pecan are still a month away from leafing.

We asked the expert:

How do you protect yourself in 2011?

Dr. Cartwright said, "in years past, we have not had such good treatments. Now, we have really good treatments."  He said these new medicines mean less symptoms as allergy season peaks. He suggests getting in to your doctor's office early and preventing the symptoms instead of waiting till they show up.

What about home remedies like eating local honey?

"Bees pollinate the plants that people are not allergic to. It is all the trees and grasses and weeds that we are allergic to that the bees stay away from. So, local honey is not a good option, although it tastes good."

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