SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – While spring is arriving, allergy season couldn’t wait and is already here.
Tree pollens were detected the last week of February with elm tree pollen reaching the high category the last few days. Allergy season showed up on the heels of a busy inversion season despite an active storm pattern.
“It can be hard sometimes, for me it’s the pollution that gives me a problem but know some people like my mother really struggle with tree pollen problems as well as asthma,” Victoria Felt of Salt Lake City said.
On top of elm trees, cottonwood tree pollen is flying through the air and cedar pollen was blown into Northern Utah. Pollen can travel hundreds of miles with a solid wind.
“We’ll see that right before a big storm when we get a strong south wind. We can see days where the trees in this area aren’t a problem, but people are still reacting,” said Dr. Duane Harris of Intermountain Allergy and Asthma.
Last full day of the 2018-2019 Winter Season…lots of snow on the mountains & believe it or not, pollen on the trees. Some pollens have been out since the last week of February! 💐💐How #utwx impacts allergy season on @abc4utah news at 6💐💐 pic.twitter.com/cwBlMZNk0E— Alana Brophy (@AlanaBrophyNews) March 19, 2019
The weather actually plays a major role in how the allergy season plays out. Warming temperatures often mean St. George will see pollens sometimes a month before Salt Lake and places like Park City could see the pollens a few weeks later. Juniper species trees, the cedar tree pollens, are the tree that give people the most issues. Grass season follows trees and Dr. Harris says most Utahns with allergies fight the grass season. The spring weather pattern is a big indicator of how grass season develops.
“We’ll see that right before a big storm when we get a strong south wind. We can see days where the trees in this area aren’t a problem, but people are still reacting,” said Harris.
Allergy season starts in the spring with tree pollen, then heads into grass and mold season for the bulk of the summer, and weeds bloom full throttle and cause issues through October. Utah’s most popular weeds include sagebrush, ragweed, and chenopods. The weeds can be found in backyards, along with the side of the road and throughout Northern and Southern Utah.
Those facing allergies sometimes get little relief, but Dr. Harris notes over the counter nasal sprays are popular and helpful. He says you don’t want to wait until your miserable to use one, because it takes about 10 days for them to really kick in.