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Pollen count NC: High pollen count in North Carolina brings power of allergy flare-up to NC allergists



The pollen count has been “very high” the last few days in central Carolina.

A report from Wednesday with data from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality shows that pines and oaks are some of the culprits that make people uncomfortable.

It seems that annoying green pollen is almost everywhere these days. The coating is not necessarily what causes allergies to kick up. It is the invisible particles that swirl around in the air that make people suffer.

SEE: Pollen waves through Tennessee forest, making trees ‘look like they’re on fire’

“This is the worst,” said Andy Filangeri, a resident of Raleigh.

“I’ve never seen pollen so thick and foggy before, and it̵

7;s been really hard for the kids,” said Vicky Crawford, a visitor from Virginia. “I have had very itchy throat and itching in my ears.”

Allergy sufferers said clinics have been busy.

People are desperately trying to get prescription medication or asking about allergy immunotherapy, which is a long-term series of shots.

“Allergy shots are very helpful in hopefully curing you of your allergies,” said UNC Allergist Dr. Sofija Voleratas from the UNC Division for Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology.

SE: Allergist explains treatments and tips for prevention

There are over-the-counter options at your local pharmacy.

While most people tend to choose a pack of pills, doctors say there is a better product.

“The nasal sprays are far away the better way to really deal with your symptoms. It’s just a lot easier to burst a pill,” Voleratas said.

A nasal spray requires consistency. You need to use it daily for it to work best, and Voleratas said it takes about 7 days to build up a layer of allergen protection.

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Voleratas also says that it is fine to use the spray and the pills at the same time.

Masks also provide protection.

“If you wear an N95, it will reduce the amount of allergen you inhale because it is designed to filter it out,” Voleratas said.

A cloth one can also do the trick.

It’s not just your imagination: the pollen season is getting longer and worse, the study finds

“Even before the pandemic, we talked to patients about potentially wearing masks when mowing the lawn or doing extended periods outside,” Voleratas said.

She has other suggestions.

Keep windows closed overnight and limit time outdoors in the morning.

If you have a dog, wipe it off with a wet cloth after walking. Pets collect pollen on their bodies and they can bring it into your home.

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