Pollen: local doctor offers tips to help you breathe easy - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pollen: local doctor offers tips to help you breathe easy

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Thursday's rain brought much needed relief to allergy sufferers, but with the return of the sunshine comes the pollen.

Pollen season is on the attack, starting much later than usual and packing a mean punch.

"We've actually had a significantly weak pollen season, until now," says Dr. Marc Cromie.

The quiet before the storm: a lingering winter delayed pollen season.

But yellow-covered cars, itchy eyes and sneezing make it easy to see; pollen is on the attack.

"It's typical for this time of year," Lucy Franklin says. "The cars and the porch are all covered up."

"I don't have any problems with it," Joseph Schlabs says. "It gives my wife migraines though, at least for the last few days it has. We couldn't figure out what it was, but our friends were like oh, it's probably the pollen."

Chattanooga allergist Dr. Marc Cromie says pollen season arrived overnight.

"It's the perfect storm," he says. "It finally got warm, the trees were ready to go, and we went from a zero pollen count, to a 4200 in 48 hours."

Friday's pollen count: 1987. Anything above 120 is considered high.

By April, most of Cromie's patients have been receiving treatments for four to six weeks, building their defense.

The late arrival of pollen season caught them off guard.

"One hundred fifty to 200 new people a week calling to make appointments, not to mention 500 people a day routinely coming in between our offices," says Dr. Cromie.

Cromie offers a series of shots to re-train the immune system for lasting effects.

He says a temporary fix can come from over the counter products like Allegra and Zyrtek.

He suggests staying indoors during the early morning hours and pre-treating before time outdoors.

It's a prescription that makes those who don't battle the pollen breathe easy.

"I guess I'm lucky," says Lucy Franklin, laughing.

Earlier this month the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America named Chattanooga the third most difficult place to live if you have springtime allergies.

Knoxville was number two. Jackson, Mississippi topped the list.

To see the pollen forecast, visit the Channel 3 Storm Alert forecast page.

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