Off-the-charts pollen spreads allergy misery
Pollen covers a car parked outside the State Capitol Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in Atlanta. A warm winter is sending pollen counts soaring to record levels in Georgia. Officials say a record high pollen count of 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter was measured in metro Atlanta on Tuesday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
(AP) -- Allergy season has come early and hit with a wheezing vengeance in parts of the South and Midwest this year, thanks largely to an unusually warm winter. Abundant pollen is causing watery eyes, sniffles and sneezing.
Doctors say the spring misery stretches from Mississippi to Ohio and from Georgia to Texas, where a drought has exacerbated the problem. Forecasters and allergists blame the unseasonably warm weather, and few cold snaps, for causing plants to bloom weeks earlier than normal and release the allergy-causing particles.
In some areas, allergists say pollen counts this week are as high as they've ever recorded. A clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville recorded 11,000 grains of pollen per cubic meter Tuesday, the worst in the 12 years they've tracked the number. The Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic says this week's pollen counts have beaten a high mark recorded there in April 1999. Their count for Tuesday was almost 9,400. Fifteen-hundred is considered very high.
The medical director of the Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program says he's been seeing more patients - even while feeling puny himself.
"I'm kind of sniffly today," Dr. David Hagaman said Tuesday.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says more than 40 million Americans have nasal allergies, popularly called hay fever. In severe cases, sufferers have difficulty breathing that can send them to the emergency room.
Stephanie Baxter was walloped when she returned to Gallatin, Tenn., from a vacation in Florida last week.
"We hit Tennessee and they started," she said. "I have every possible symptom you can have. I'm trying to keep my energy because I have a 3-month-old and a 3-year-old. There's no time for rest."
For three years, the foundation has ranked Knoxville, Tenn., as the worst city in the country for allergies - based on pollen counts, sales of allergy medications and the presence allergy specialists. The city has been up to 20 degrees warmer than normal the past few weeks. Spring arrived prematurely - along with sales of nose spray.
"It's blooming so early," said Sam Roberts, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn. "Grass mowing has started early this year and stirred things up."
Ranee Randby, community relations director for the Knox County Health Department, said Knoxville's scenic location in the Tennessee valley contributes to the problem.
"We're surrounded by mountains and whatever gets in here stays in here. It's like a bowl," she said. "It's a beautiful, green part of the country but pollen comes with that."
In San Antonio, Texas, patients with allergies have increased in the past few weeks at Southwest General Hospital. Daniel St. Armand, the emergency room director, doesn't have to leave the hospital to find someone suffering.
"I have a friend who goes through this yearly and it affects his whole system," he said. "He constantly has a runny nose and itchy skin and eyes. He's just not himself."
In Atlanta, Andre Osborne returned home from a long weekend to find his black Infiniti sedan caked in yellow pollen.
"I feel terrible," he said. "I know it's not as bad as it can be. But the sneezing, the uncontrollable coughing, it's starting to kick in."
A couple miles away, business was up at Cactus Car Wash as drivers brought in their pollen-covered cars. Yellow water streamed into drains in its parking lot.
"It's very unusual this early on," said manager Jim James. "It's getting cars a lot dirtier, which is happier for us."
©2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Chicago's reputation as one of 'worst place to live with spring allergies' just got worse Apr 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer Dec 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Spring allergies have arrived Mar 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- The nose knows: Allergy season here with vengeance May 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Tips for managing your child's allergies Mar 19, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
latitude & longitude & air pressure
1 hour ago Hi there, I have a peculiar question. Imagine that you are in a earth position, obtained by google, that gives you the latitude and longitude....
Differences of Classical Mechanics when learned with Calc vs algebra?
4 hours ago what are the differences? Every example I find usually has a derivative or integral or some kind of calculus defined concept that seems to make it...
what is the distance traveled
8 hours ago Hi. I have newly started to study mechanical physics. based on study, I conduct a simple experiment. But unfortunately i am unable apply the laws in...
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
12 hours ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing throught optical system of thick lenses
12 hours ago Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
Faraday's law on circular wire
13 hours ago In my examples on Faraday's law in my book, they use a drawing of a magnet approaching a circular wire. The changing magnetic flux then induces an...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
The negative effects of poorly controlled asthma symptoms on sleep quality and academic performance in urban schoolchildren has been confirmed in a new study.
Inflammatory disorders May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, report researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that IBD is associated with a 37 percent greater risk for the disease. ...
Inflammatory disorders May 20, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Inflammation is an important response in the body - it helps you to kill off invaders such bacteria that could cause a harmful infection. But if it's chronic or uncontrolled, inflammation can also cause ...
Inflammatory disorders May 14, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
New research by medical students working in the Breathe Well Centre of Research Excellence at the UTAS School of Medicine has revealed swimming has health benefits for young people with asthma, with no adverse effects on ...
Inflammatory disorders May 10, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
An estimated 4,837,000 asthmatics with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) could benefit substantially from antifungal treatment, say researchers from The University of Manchester and the University of Toronto.
Inflammatory disorders May 08, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
8 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0