By Brandon Mercer

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The West Coast has little to fear from the so-called “pollen vortex” of exploding allergens unleashed by the unusually cold and long polar vortex winter that plagued New York, Boston, and much of the northeastern United States.

Allergists in the east are warning the public to prepare for plant blooms to explode all at once in the spring thaw, leading to horrendous allergy conditions.

Susan Kosisky, chief microbiologist at the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Laboratory, tells the Washington Post, “Grab your Kleenex. It’s coming.”

The West Coast faced an opposite winter — warm and mild, on top of the worst drought in California history, meaning allergy problems for Northern California should be less severe than usual.  Current conditions peg pollen counts as low, and allergy problems as minimal.

If you do suffer, no matter where you are in the nation, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends:

• Keep your windows closed at night and if possible, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air.
• Try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold counts are high. If your symptoms are severe, wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable. When you return indoors, take a shower, shampoo your hair and change clothes.
• Avoid being responsible for mowing lawns or raking leaves. This stirs up pollen and molds. Also avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry.
• When traveling by car, keep your windows closed.
• Take any medications as prescribed.


DEALING WITH ALLERGIES: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology





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