Pollen and smoke causing usual allergy and asthma problems

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News


Have you noticed some haze in the sky the past couple of days?

Are your allergies kicking up?

Channel 8 Eyewitness news reporter Alden German has more on what’s causing all of this.

Tt’s that time of year…itchy eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose.

But is that because of pollen, or the smokey haze?

The answer is…a little bit of both.

It might be hard to believe, but things are just how they should be for this time of year.

First the smoke…

"The burning done not only in Kansas but also in Nebraska causes a lot of asthma to act up."

And pollen from trees are up to their usual mischief as well.

"We’ve seen a lot of problems with allergies and asthma. Historically trees pollinate in March and April. We had some warm spells we had some cold spells. Right now, juniper and cedar counts are at season highs."

A common belief is that cold weather in spring will lessen the impact of pollen.

That’s not necessarily true.

"Trees will pollinate when they’re stressed, so if it’s excessively cold they’ll pollinate to propagate the species because they’re stressed."

This is a survival mechnaism.

Plants will pollenate more than usual as a precaution that their genes will live on.

But this isn’t the case with all plants.

"It just depends on the species, so it depends on whether or not how cold it has actually gotten or how cold it is actually going to get. So it really is just species specific."

Tree pollen peaks in March and April,

While grass doesn’t peak until May and June.

Weeds are in the late summer months.

The cold and snow might do some serious harm for trees in the western part of the state and could affect their pollen output.

"Well Mother Nature does what Mother Nature does. Trees have recovered for millions of years. Take this weather with a grain of salt, and maybe some salt on the roads as well, and hopefully we’ll all get through it just fine, including our trees."