Untamed Lowcountry

Brace yourself: Beaufort Co. is close to the country’s second-highest ‘pollen hot spot’

Pollen is back, but here’s the truth about what you find in the Lowcountry

Lowcountry allergist Thomas Beller explains what it means that the pollen is back so early, and which pollen is really bothering your allergies.
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Lowcountry allergist Thomas Beller explains what it means that the pollen is back so early, and which pollen is really bothering your allergies.

Try to blow your nose before reading this.

Savannah has been deemed the No. 2 “pollen hot spot” in the United States by the Weather Channel, earning its spot on the list for the immense amount of tree, grass and ragweed pollen in the air.

The city comes in second to Dallas, and is followed by three other Texas cities: San Antonio, Houston and Georgetown.

That doesn’t bode well for Beaufort County, which also has high tree pollen counts, according to the Weather Channel’s allergy tracker.

If you have spent anytime in the Lowcountry during the early Spring or Fall, you have seen pollen. It covers everything in a fine blanket of yellow dust and makes people sneeze incessantly. But do you know what pollen is?

Last year, The Island Packet reported that the high pollen season came several weeks early.

This year appears to have followed suit — giving cars yellow-tinted films and outdoor runners itchy eyes three weeks before the traditional start of the season in mid-March.

Most people who are allergic to pollen can treat the nasty symptoms by taking over-the-counter antihistamine medications such as Zyrtec or Claritin, according to Rachel Nall, a registered nurse with Medical News Today.

Ideally, you’d start taking those medications a few weeks before the allergy season, Nall wrote.

However, if you find yourself in peak allergy mode, Nall recommends washing bedsheets and changing air conditioner filters to give your home a clean slate.

Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.
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