Tree Pollen

Tree Pollen: The answer is blowing in the wind.

If you are new to the South Carolina Midlands, you are about to experience a phenomenon the rest of us have seen each year: the beginning of the spring tree pollen season.

When that happens, you will notice that pine and cedar pollen turn everything a shade of yellow. Your car will turn yellow and will need a bath every day or two. Driveways and roads will turn yellow, and you will see tire tracks and footprints on them where pollen was previously undisturbed. On windy days, you will see massive plumes of pine pollen being swept from the trees! (See it for yourself.)

Although plumes of pollen like this can cause irritating symptoms—itchy watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion and asthma—most of this pollen that we encounter is on the ground and not in the air, except on windy days. Most of your problems will be caused by the pollen you cannot see, which comes from the many other trees common to South Carolina. In fact, there are at least 18 major tree pollens in our area that start to pollenate in late February and can continue until May.

The most effective treatment for tree pollen allergy is avoidance, but for many of us this is not possible. Since pollen counts are highest in the early morning and late afternoon, and lowest at midday and during/after a rainfall, planning outside activities with these facts in mind can be of some benefit.

Typical medical treatment of tree pollen allergies includes:

  • Oral antihistamines
  • Nasal sprays (antihistamines and steroids)
  • Eye drops
  • Allergen Immunotherapy or “allergy shots”

The best way to accurately diagnose the triggers of your tree allergy is skin testing. If you are experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies, call our office today at 803-973-7956 to set up an appointment to get help. After we determine your triggers, our board-certified allergy and immunology specialists can plan and implement a treatment regimen that will be effective in reducing symptoms and improving your quality of life.