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An Apple A Day

Peter B. Boggs, M.D., FACP, FACAAI, FAAAAI, FCCP, Medical Director – BreatheAmerica

Shreveport Believe it or not…pollen season has begun!

Each January as the weather warms following cool spells, the early trees (Junipers and Elm) disperse their pollens. I have seen this happen as early as the first day of January and as late as the first week of February…it all depends on how cold it is and how much warming occurs. While the cold temperatures turn the pollen process off, that process reignites with some warming.

Most people do not realize this is happening because they cannot see the pollen in the air or on sidewalks or cars. That is because it is not sufficiently heavy to coat these surfaces in a visible manner. It is the pine and largely the oak pollens that cause that to happen, and that comes in March-April.  So, most people think the spring pollen season begins in March-April…when they can see the pollens, but it actually begins in January during most years. In fact, we will have pollen of some type in the air every day between now and the second week of June.

So, the pollen season begins with the early trees, followed by the later trees (pine, oak, hackberry, sycamore, sweet gum), and then the grass pollens. The grasses are heaviest during April and early May. They are the last of the spring pollens to clear the air. There is very little pollen in the air in the summer months, a little grass here and there, until late August when the weed pollens begin to appear.

The season has begun. It will worsen through May. So, be prepared with the proper medications.