Health

Atlanta Pollen Count Spikes, Though You Might Not Feel It Yet

Pine tree pollen falls quickly out of the air and leaves that familiar blanket on the city. Once people start seeing pollen on their cars and sidewalks, allergist Mark Livezey said they attribute other issues — like respiratory infections — on their allergies.
Pine tree pollen falls quickly out of the air and leaves that familiar blanket on the city. Once people start seeing pollen on their cars and sidewalks, allergist Mark Livezey said they attribute other issues — like respiratory infections — on their allergies.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press file

Atlanta’s pollen count hit a new high for 2018 this week. Atlanta Allergy and Asthma measured it at over 4,600 grams per cubic meter of air on Wednesday.

According to allergist Mark Livezey at Allergy and Asthma Consultants, that number can be misleading. Whether it bothers you just depends on what you’re allergic to.

He said much of the current pollen count includes pine tree pollen, for example.

“Frankly, it’s not one of the major allergens. We see it on the cars and sidewalks, but it doesn’t tend to be as problematic clinically for allergy patients.”

Because it tends to be heavier, he said pine tree pollen falls quickly out of the air and leaves that familiar blanket on the city.

Once people start seeing the pollen on their cars and sidewalks, Livezey said they will attribute other issues — like respiratory infections — on their allergies. It’s a “peak” time for patients visiting his clinic, he said. 

Despite the high numbers, he said these pollen levels are pretty standard for Atlanta spring.

“I think every year is pretty bad in Atlanta with our great abundance of foliage, trees and grasses.”

He also doesn’t expect it to get better anytime soon. Other species of trees will continue pollinating for about a month, followed by grasses through June.

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