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cant stop sneezing nyc is in peak pollen season

Can’t stop sneezing? NYC is in peak pollen season.

Oak, birch and sycamores trees. They’re species commonly planted on New York City blocks. And also could be the reason your allergies are flaring up. With spring in full swing, pollen is in the air and could exacerbate allergies and allergy-related illnesses like asthma. According to a city health department advisory, over the counter allergy medication sales and emergency department visits spike during the months of April and May, coinciding with peak tree pollen concentrations. Guy Robinson runs the only official pollen monitoring station in the city at Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus. He said some of those popular street trees are also some of the more allergenic ones. “It’s important just to know what’s in the air because there’s going to be tens of thousands, if not millions of people suffering from allergies right now, because we’re still in the first two weeks of May and typically those are the worst times of year,” he said. Robinson records pollen counts during 24-hour periods, reporting it to the National Allergy Bureau of the American Academy for Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and posting it on a spreadsheet once a week. He said pollen counts and kinds can vary widely from day to day. According to the NAB, anything above 90 is considered high. On May 6, the station recorded 236 particles of pollen per cubic meter with most of it, 64% being Mulberry. Another 30% was oak and birch made up 3%. Robinson said those trees, along with sycamores, are more allergenic because their pollen is carried by the wind. Most flowering trees, on the other hand, are insect pollinated, and therefore less allergenic. “The trees that have flowers with visible paddles, like cherries, apple trees, things like that — those ones usually aren’t like a problem because they only produce relatively small amounts [of pollen] because they have insects or other animals doing their pollination for them,” Robinson said.” Suffering from allergies himself, Robinson said he’s found that wearing a mask and avoiding being outside unnecessarily during this time help mitigate the worst symptoms. Meanwhile, the CDC recommends those allergic to pollen check pollen forecasts, take allergy medication as prescribed, shower and change clothes after being outside and keep windows closed during pollen season. Using high efficiency filters inside may also help, according to the CDC.

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