Milwaukee May 22, 2018
An Allergy Bomb Has Hit Milwaukee And Here’s What You Need To Know
Have you been sniffling more than usual this week? Has it been harder to breathe? Unbeknownst to most Milwaukeeans, there’s been a natural phenomenon going on all week that has most of us feeling down and out!
If you have allergies, you know that something's in the air... literally.
Even if you’ve never had seasonal allergy symptoms in the past, you’ve probably been feeling a little off for the last few days. But why?
Have you ever heard the term "allergy bomb?" That’s what this is, and it can be as scary as it sounds for those who experience allergy symptoms.
Over the weekend, the region experienced a record high pollen count, with some allergists saying that it’s the worst they have seen in over 20 years.
While we’re excited that spring has arrived in Milwaukee after a long and chilly winter, the late-blooming trees are to blame for the current conditions.
Due to the cold weather stretching so late in the season, plants that normally burst to life in early spring have been forced to delay their natural pollination cycle.
Typically, plants bloom at different rates throughout the season, which spreads out the pollen count and makes it less severe.
Instead, plants - particularly trees - are releasing pollen all at once… and we’re definitely feeling it.
You know what sounds even scarier than an allergy bomb? Thunder Fever.
Thunder Fever is a rare condition that is triggered when storms and humidity break up pollen into smaller pieces, spreading it more quickly and easily than normal. Thunder Fever has not yet been confirmed in this portion of the country, but allergy experts are warning that this is a very real possibility for Milwaukeeans this week.
So how bad is this perfect storm of allergy conditions right now? Well, our pollen counts are currently over 10 times the average for this time of year.
To put it in perspective, allergists have been collecting pollen counts close to 6,000 particles per cubic meter; the average for this time of year is around 700. This much pollen in the air is enough to flare up allergy responses even in those who don’t normally feel seasonal symptoms.
Pollen counts are expected to stay at high levels all week.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do to treat pollen allergy symptoms beyond simple avoidance. If you have a known allergy to tree pollen, it's recommended that you stay indoors as much as possible, as exposure puts you at a high risk for respiratory inflammation and dangerous allergy attacks. Don't hesitate to contact your doctor if symptoms get worse.
Despite the miserable conditions at the moment, there is a silver lining: allergy season will be shorter than normal this year. Pollination season typically lasts for a couple of months, but this rapid bloom means that we should see the end of it after just a few weeks. Stock up on tissues, hunker down, and we’ll get through it soon!
How have you been feeling this week? What have you done to relieve symptoms? Let us know in the comments and feel better soon!