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Polar Vortex Could Cause More Intense Allergy Season

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Dr. Maria Simbra
Dr. Maria Simbra is an Emmy award-winning medical journalist, who...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The polar vortex made it a bad winter… will it also make it a bad spring?

“We’re going to get a delayed allergy season, but perhaps a more intense allergy season,” says allergist Dr. James DeAngelo at Clinical Allergy & Immunology Associates. “We’re starting to get calls, a lot of people walking in, and they can feel it in their eyes usually first.”

As the temperatures go up, the pollen will come out; though some plants are not waiting.

“Particularly the maples will pollinate even if the temperatures are very cold, well below freezing. They do this by the length of the day. Other trees, such as the oaks, will wait until it warms up,” Dr. DeAngelo explains.

Just now the patterns are changing.

“Counts have been low up until pretty much today, really. This week we’re hitting the moderate for the first time. We have not seen any high tree pollen counts yet,” he continues.

The worst for tree pollen allergies is just weeks away.

“Probably the first or second week of April, I’d guess,” says Dr. DeAngelo.

The cold weather affects tree pollen mostly. Grass allergy season will be unchanged. That starts in mid-May.

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