A 'pollen explosion' is coming to Georgia

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Doctors are warning people with allergies about an upcoming "pollen explosion."

This week's freezing weather is good for people with allergies in the short term, but the weather could make things worse in the long run.

Kayla Miller, 15, knows how bad allergies can be.


"I have asthma and allergies and because of the allergies my asthma is really bad,” Miller said.

Channel 2's Craig Lucie spoke with Miller, with her father's permission, while she was getting treatment at Atlanta Allergy and Asthma in Marietta.

And she's not alone.

In the next few weeks, Dr. Stanley Fineman expects to see more patients having problems with a pollen explosion.

"When the weather gets warmer we'll see the plants pollinate more and, at that point, patients will likely have more trouble with their symptoms," Fineman said.

Making things worse this season is the rise and fall in temperatures.

In February, Channel 2 Action News told you about the record-high pollen count.

Then the latest cold snap dropped the pollen level, but it's about to go up again when the temperatures rise.

"So for patients, it is more of a problem when the pollen counts go up then go down and then go up again," Fineman said.

That creates a priming effect when a patient is exposed to an allergen, it goes away, then they're re-exposed.

That could make the symptoms worse.

"Now we anticipate that we'll see more pollen towards the end of March and April," Fineman said, 

Fineman encourages people allergic to pollen start their treatment now.

"We're instructing our patients who have pollen allergy to start their preventative medication now to make sure that they are controlled," Fineman said.

Fineman also encourages people with allergies to keep a close eye on the pollen count.

Experts at Atlanta Allergy and Asthma track the pollen at their facility in Marietta and provide reports on the pollen count.