Pollen counts high, sniffles on the rise
Tahoe’s pine trees and grasses are showering the town with pollen, causing a rash of sniffling, sneezing and stuffy headedness.
Cars, decks and driveways were covered in the yellow dust over a windy and hot weekend.
According to a pollen report at Weather.com, South Shore is experiencing high tree pollen counts and moderate grass pollen counts. A four-day forecast at Pollen.com shows more of the same to come.
Doctor Marissa Muscat with Tahoe Family Physicians said people who suffer from allergies for only a few weeks a year could find relief in an over-the-counter antihistamine like Claritin.
More severe allergies sufferers can see their primary care physician for prescription-strength antihistamines, nasal sprays, further testing or a referral to a specialist, Muscat said.
Allergies are the body’s over-reaction to what it perceives as a threat, according to WebMD.com. Allergy symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes are caused by chemicals called histamines, which are produced by the immune system.
Most allergies are inherited, according to WebMD. They affect about 20 percent of Americans.
— Flowering plants have heavy pollen particles, are pollinated by insects and not through the air, so they don’t usually cause allergies.
— Plants that rely on the wind to spread pollen, like pine trees, grass and weeds, are the primary allergy culprits.