Highest pollen counts of the year expected to get worse - CBS46 News

Highest pollen counts of the year expected to get worse

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

It's that time of the year. Flowers are blooming and pollen is everywhere, making nearly everyone sick.

The highest pollen counts of the year were registered on Sunday and officials say it's only going to get worse. Doctors at Emory University say they've seen an increase in allergy patients in the last few weeks.

"Being exposed to pollen if you're allergic to it does pre-dispose you to a sinus infection," said Dr. Marissa Shams.

In Georgia, pollen counts can often be thousands over the national averages. Doctors say these are the top three ways to avoid getting sick from pollen:

  • Limiting time outside on high pollen count days and closing your windows in your house and car
  • When you come inside, wash pollen off hair, clothes and skin every time.
  • Use saline flushes for your nose and eyes

"If you feel these symptoms go away within a few days or fluctuate with the pollen count then perhaps it is allergies," says Dr. Shams. "If you feel like you are truly coming down with an infection-fever, you're coughing up things, you generally feel unwell, it's probably best to go ahead and see your primary care physician or your allergist. If you are allergic to pollen the best times to be outside are after it rains."

Allergy season in Georgia lasts six to nine months so getting a regimen under control early helps and seeing an allergist to know what you're allergic to is also beneficial. Oral antihistamines and nasal steroids can also work to clear up sinuses. But you shouldn't take any of the medicines long-term without direction from a doctor.

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