High Pollen Counts Return to Georgia

Apr 11, 2013

Last year, Georgia's pollen count hit an all-time high. There's a chance it could happen again this year.
Credit The University of Georgia

A pollen count above 1,500 is considered extremely high by health officials.

On Thursday, the pollen count in metro Atlanta rose above the 8,000 mark.

"This season would, you know, compare with some of our worst.  And if the weather stays, you know, temperate and warm and we don't get too much rain, it's going to be problematic for several weeks," says Dr. Kevin Schaffer, with the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic.

Last March, the state saw an all-time high when the pollen count hit 9,367.

The three best ways to deal with pollen: avoidance, medication, and in extreme situations, allergy injections.

"In this case we actually do some tests on people and we formulate a special serum based on how they react and over time you build a tolerance to what you're allergic to.  Many of our patients become symptom-free and need no medications whatsoever," says Schaffer.

Pollen, pollen everywhere -- a familiar springtime sight in Atlanta.
Credit Dave Jones

The biggest pollen-producing culprits this year are birch, oak and pine trees.