Pollen is in the air, on cars, and everywhere else

Pollen is piling up on windshields across Alabama.
Pollen is piling up on windshields across Alabama.(WSFA 12 News)
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 7:49 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The first day of Spring is nearly three weeks away, but one of our least favorite things about the season is already in the air.

Pollen season is here a little earlier this year and we can expect to experience the high pollen counts up until May.

Our good friend pollen has started to take over our allergies and cars.

“More runny noses, more congestion, more coughing, the pollen count is looking to stay high for the next several days,” says Tyler Allender, WTVM Storm Team 9 Meteorologist.

Garry Orr is just one of the many drivers who made sure to bring his car to 4th Avenue Car Wash in Columbus.

“Came out this morning got in my truck to run to the bank and I couldn’t see out the windshield,” says Orr, “It was completely covered, looking like it was about to sprout.”

Owner of 4th Avenue Car Wash, Richard Davis says business increases by at least a third every pollen season, even on days with a cloudy overcast.

Even though the pollen might be back on your car the next day, Davis says it’s always helpful to run it through the wash.

“Pollen is acidic in nature and when you get pollen combined with the attributes of rain or water, that’s when the acid of pollen can damage your car,” says Davis.

Like car washes, local allergist are busy this season too. The Allergy Center at Brookstone opens at 8 in the morning and by 9:30 they had already seen nearly 30 patients Wednesday morning.

Pollen during the Spring primarily comes from trees. The windier, drier, and warmer it is outside, the more pollen

Board certified allergist, Dr. Robert Chrzanowski says it’s important to always wash your and your children’s hands this allergy season.

“If you come in from outside after touching your car door or sweeping off the patio or anything make sure you are washing your hands before you touch your face.

Mild symptoms like itchy eyes and runny noses at this time come from histamine being released. Dr. Chrzanowski says over the counter medicines like Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec and Xyzal work well when it comes to dealing with a pollen flare up.

“If you have more moderate, severe symptoms, with inflammation, congestion, and drainage, adding a nasal steroid with the anti-histamine will work,” says Chrzanowski.

If you are experiencing more severe symptoms and pollen season is completely unbearable, Dr. Chrzanowski says it may be time to consider seeing an allergist and start allergy immunotherapy.

“After three years of immunotherapy, most people do well. 80% of them don’t need shots anymore or don’t even need medicine anymore,” says Chrzanowski.