The pollen plague: allergy season coming in full swing in Durham

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

By Alyssa Clark

With spring arriving early this year, the blossoming trees mean pollen is everywhere, forcing us to reach for our allergy medicines sooner than expected.

Seasonal allergies have started and there is no slowing down to the amount of pollen that is in the air in Durham.

In Durham, the most common types of pollen are tree, grass and weed pollen, according to Wyndly, a site that offers allergy testing and medication treatment. 

North Carolina is home to oak, pine and maple trees, which produce the most pollen during this time of year and can cover large areas.

According to The Weather Channel, pollen levels for the next week are above the moderate level in Durham, mostly coming from tree pollen.

On warmer and windier days, pollen travels farther and faster, leading to blankets of green everywhere.

The months of March and April in North Carolina are the worst when it comes to the saturation of pollen in the air and on outside objects, such as cars, benches and sidewalks. 

Why are the levels of pollen so significant this year? 

With a raise in temperature in the area, pollen accumulates more. This is due to plants blooming faster in the warm weather and the carbon dioxide in greenhouse gas emissions that causes plants to produce more pollen, according to a research done by scientists at Wyndly. 

Seasonal allergies affect over 81 million people in the U.S. according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in 2021. 

Symptoms of allergies include itchy eyes, runny noses, and frequent coughs. These types of allergies can also be called hay fever.

Durham is a neighbor to one of the worst cities to live if you have allergies. Raleigh, North Carolina is number nine in the top ten of the most challenging places to live when having seasonal allergies, according to AAFA. 

The best thing a Durham resident can do for this time of year is to take allergy medicine, shower after being outside, check the weather conditions and reduce indoor pollen.

Edited by Dezarae Churchill