Polar vortex has lead to a pollen vortex

WHEATON, Md. — The cold, snowy winter is leading to a nasty allergy season.

And because the winter was so long, spring will be shorter than usual. So instead of a gradual release of allergens into the air, there will be an explosion.

“There is going to be a large amount of pollen squished into a short season and that translates into really high pollen counts,” says Dr. Martha White, an allergist with the Institute for Asthma and Allergy in Wheaton.

All the precipitation that fell has left a ton of moisture on the ground, which brings mold counts up as well.

“If you’re unfortunate enough to be allergic to tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed and mold, it may be a tough year,” White says.

Those with allergies are already feeling the effects.

“The Oak Tree, which is the major spring tree pollen, just started,” she explains.

The tree pollen count during last weekend’s warm weather was up over 1,000. To put that in perspective, a count of just 75 is considered high.

“That was the first really high day, but we’re going to have a lot of those unfortunately,” White says.

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