Allergies out of control? Here's why...

Posted at 2:42 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 17:01:53-04

What a gorgeous day this is (a-choooo) with over fifteen hours of daylight (sniff, sniff) low humidity and warm sunshine (please pass the tissues.)

These warm spring days bring lots of smiles to Michiganders, especially after several cold snaps earlier in the spring kept frost in many of our forecasts (and on our flowers.) But, spring also brings a period of sniffly, sneezy suffering to many of us. If your allergies are really bothering you these days, you can probably blame pollen from trees, which is running quite high right now.

Specifically, pollen from oak trees jumped up about a week ago, and remains as one of the worst offenders in metro Detroit's air right now. Just today, pollen from mulberry trees has come on very strong. And allergy sufferers have a consistent pain in the ash tree pollen levels around here, as it is the third worst offender as of today.

According to Amber Kendel, an aeroallergen technician at the Lakeshore Ear, Nose, and Throat Center in St. Clair Shores, the pollen season is really no worse this year than most years. It is running a little behind average. She notes that by this point in May, grass pollen is usually an issue already, but it hasn't shown up yet. That delay is most likely due to those repeated bouts of cold weather we've had the last few weeks. Now that the weather pattern looks to have made a meaningful shift toward the warm side, we can expect to deal with grass pollen in the air very soon.

If you're looking for non-medicinal relief and don't have plans to travel, then cheer on the rain showers. Downpours can wash pollen off your car and out of the air, knocking levels down, though it's usually a fairly short-lived reprieve.

As we head toward the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the weather will have a summer-like feel, and there will be scattered cleansing showers. But you can expect to see red, puffy eyes at cookouts and parades as allergy season marches along.