Achoo! Winterish spring kicks up misery for pollen-haters


In a case of adding insult to injury, the misery of the harsh winter is being followed by a misery-inducing spring for those who suffer from allergies and hay fever.

The Star Tribune reports the cold and high winds we'd like to put in the rear view mirror are producing more pollen all than is typically the case. That mean sniffles, sneezes, stuffy noses, coughing and itchy eyes for those who suffer from the seasonal complaints.

The newspaper said that a pollen counter near the office of Dr. Richard Bransford, who practices with the Twin Cities area Allergy and Asthma Specialists, noted intense pollen activity this season. One day last week, the readout showed pollen levels as high as eight times the average for an ordinary season — and well into the range for what is considered high levels of pollen.

Time magazine explained that as temperatures (finally) warm up, pollinating trees will be busy catching up and will spew higher than average amounts of allergens into the spring air. In addition, all the moisture in the ground is making muddy and moist soil. That could lead to more mold, and mold spores can trigger respiratory problems related to both allergies and asthma.

WCCO reports that allergists recommend wearing sunglasses to keep pollen out eyes and showering to wash all that pollen off skin and hair. In addition, be mindful of when to be outdoors.

“Pollen is typically higher in the morning. You want to be outside…later in the day when pollen counts are typically lower,” Dr. Clifford Bassett said.

Just in time, Reuters reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new grass pollen allergy drug. Grastek from Merck & Co is the second immunotherapy treatment to be given the go-ahead in recent weeks. Immunotherapies work by boosting the body's immune system to make it less sensitive to allergens. The drug, approved for patients age 5 to 65, is expected to get its U.S. launch later this month.

Merck has said it sees a potential U.S. market of nearly 3 million patients.

Next Up

Yia Vang - media photo - crop 2

Union Hmong Kitchen will move into Mpls. food hall

Chef Yia Vang said they're "so excited to settle in and have a home."

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.


Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd has canceled his St. Paul show

He's made changes to his 2022 tour that involves scrapping his Xcel Energy Center gig.

Pixabay - police lights, tape

Man released from custody after admitting to fatal shooting in ND

Authorities said there is no threat to the public.


MN water tower in the running for Tank of the Year

It was the only water tank to receive more than 5,000 votes.

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.