Pesky pollen: York County experts weigh in on beating seasonal allergies

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
A green bottle fly rests on a pollen dusted lilac bush leaf in Springettsbury Township, Friday, April 30, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Rain in York County's forecast should help reduce high levels of pollen in the air, allergy experts say.

Tree pollen, specifically oak, was "very high" on Monday, according to Pat Willis, practice administrator for Allergy & Asthma Consultants in Spring Garden Township.

The Allergy & Asthma Consultants, which records pollen counts Monday through Friday, uses a rod that collects pollen in a 24-hour span to be counted under a microscope.

On Monday, experts at the office counted 5,632 tree pollen particles and 32 grass pollen particles. Though that might seem high, these counts are nothing unusual for this time of year, Willis said.

"We always have a week where we have these high numbers," Willis said. 

Pollen is seen on the blossoms of a leatherleaf viburnum in Springettsbury Township, Friday, April 30, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Showers in York County's forecast through Wednesday should help to reduce the pollen.

"You've got pollen spinning around on a sunny, breezy day, and when it rains it washes out of the air," Willis said. 

Deb Hunt, an extracts specialist who collects pollen data for Allergy & Asthma Consultants, said pollen thrives in the hot and dry weather York County has seen in recent weeks. 

Right now, tree pollen is the most common. Then, in late spring to summer, grass pollen will take over.

A bee collects pollen from a leatherleaf viburnum in Springettsbury Township, Friday, April 30, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Lastly, weed pollen is prevalent in fall, Hunt said.

For York County residents who are sensitive to pollen, Hunt has several suggestions.

"If someone's got a pollen allergy and they go outside, they should go in and take a shower," Hunt said, adding that individuals should keep doors and windows shut and run the air conditioning.

Additionally, York County residents with asthma could also experience worsened symptoms due to pollen.

Hunt recommends asthmatics should follow the same guidelines for those with pollen allergies.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.