Higher pollen counts expected in Upstate in 2022

Experts say weed pollen will be prevalent especially in areas surrounding mountains
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 4:25 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - It’s that thing you see this time of year...

On every car...

Every surface...

Waiting for you outside your door.

But this year, it could be tougher and more potent.

“Oh yeah. We got bad allergies,” said Sandro Balderas, owner of Grass Barber, an Upstate lawn maintenance company with clients all over the area. “But this is what I love to do. So I’m here!”

Sandro says Spring is his busiest season.

“You know in the winter, it gets dark a little bit early, and now, the time has changed,” he told FOX Carolina. “So we work like 12 hours now.”

Being out in the elements for 12 hours every day is the reason he says he’s not excited about a new report showing that there will be higher than normal pollen counts this year--due to resilient weed pollen that is especially prevalent in the foothills region.

Experts say that’s the case because we are so close to the mountains, which are a huge contributing factor.

“We’re actually a hotspot for pollen allergies,” said Dr. Emmanuel Sarmiento, a Greenville-based allergist and immunologist.

Dr. Sarmiento says he’s already seeing it in his clients, adding that pollen from aggressive weeds in mountain areas has the ability to be carried by the wind up to 75 miles until it settles, often right in your community.

“The weed pollen will dominate,” he explained. “And the wind blows it. So it may come later in the Spring or early Summer when we get it.”

While weed pollen is coming soon, he says tree pollen counts are already high, so it might be time to start taking those allergy medicines.”

“The over the counter medicines like Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin,” Dr. Sarmiento said. “They’re safe, they last 24 hours. They work.”