Grass pollen hitting NJ ‘with a fury’
When one allergy door starts to close in New Jersey, another one opens.
While pollen counts from trees and some mold spores have started to decrease, grass pollen is arriving a little later than normal this year and is coming in with a bang.
"With the projected weather forecast, allergy sufferers will really have a more intense grass pollen problem this year," said Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist with the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Grass pollen, seen for the first time Wednesday and Thursday, Bielory said, typically is first seen around the third week of April. But cooler-than-normal days caused a delay, and as such, it's releasing "with a fury." And weather conditions over the next week won't do much to dampen its power.
"And it will persist through mid-June, and as far as the first week in July," Bielory said.
Making matters worse, just a fraction of grass pollen is necessary to trigger one's allergy symptoms, compared to the amount of tree pollen necessary to do the same. Grass pollen, Bielory said, is more likely to irritate an individual's eyes.
In general, sensitivity to environmental allergens has increased across the country. Bielory said people are more sensitive to grass pollen these days than they were 25 years ago.
When grass pollen wanes, allergy sufferers are free from pain for a few weeks. Ragweed season typically launches around August 15.
With help from a student, Bielory created the AccuPollen Allergy Tracker, a free mobile app that gives users true pollen counts and indicates which species are in the air.
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