ATLANTA — Break out the tissues, eye drops and allergy medicine -- the pollen levels across Georgia are the highest in at least two years.
Wednesday's pollen count is 4,667. The top contributors are trees, including oak, mulberry, pine, birch and sycamore. Grass allergens are moderate and weeds are low.
Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said the highest pollen levels in 2017 was 3,559.
The list of the highest pollen counts in the past decade:
- March 31, 2017: 3,559
- March 29, 2016: 4,106
- April 9, 2015: 6,152
- April 4, 2014: 5,230
- April 11, 2013: 8,023
- March 20, 2012: 9,369
- March 24, 2011: 3,939
- April 7, 2010: 5,733
- April 6, 2009: 3,584
- April 14, 2008: 3,332
In the midst of these high and extremely high pollen counts, Dr. Karen Hoffmann with Piedmont Ear, Nose, Throat and Related Allergy said to take allergy medication before going outside, but what you take depends on your symptoms.
"If you have a lot of nasal congestion, facial pressure, then some of the OTC nasal steroids can be helpful," Hoffmann said. "If you have the runny, drippy, sneezy, itchy, watery eyes some of the oral antihistamines can be helpful."
With tree pollen now in the high and extremely high ranges regularly, doctors say to limit time outdoors and keep what's outside from coming in.
That means showering, changing clothes immediately, and rinsing the nose with a little nasal saline to get the allergens out.
Tree pollen tends to stay in the high and extremely high range through April.
Cox Media Group