What’s being called a storm of pollen is expected to last at least until the end of the week.
Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergy specialist who tracks the pollen count in New Jersey, said the delay of warm weather this spring has caused several varieties of trees to release pollen at the same time. It’s the worst it’s been in a decade, he said.
“You can see puffs of pollen, literally, coming off the trees,” Bielory said. “This is quite intense and we’re having pollen counts, the actual pollen grains per cubic meter, hit into the thousands.”
Even those who haven’t had allergy problems before are feeling the effects.
“More people have allergies as they’re exposed to allergens. We’ve been seeing an increase in patients who are older. We used to see about 20 to 30 percent of the population who are older having allergies,” he said. “Now we’re seeing 40 to 60 percent.”
Bielory recommended some easy ways to avoid pollen problems.
“Using your air conditioning is extremely helpful — and not using open windows to blow pollen throughout the house, which will then cause that green-yellow cloud to deposit over your furniture,” he said. “Wash your hair before going to bed, take a shower, wash the stuff off.”
And don’t expect much relief, at least until June.
“By the first week in June, we’ll see the trees fade away and the grass and a few weeds come into to play, but that will be less intense unless you’re specifically allergic to those,” Bielory said.