- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
Off-the-charts pollen spreads allergy misery
Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Allergy season has come early and hit with a wheezing vengeance in parts of the South and Midwest this year, thanks largely to an unusually warm winter. Abundant pollen is causing watery eyes, sniffles and sneezing.
Doctors say the spring misery stretches from Mississippi to Ohio and from Georgia to Texas, where drought conditions have exacerbated the problem. Forecasters and allergists blame the unseasonably warm weather, and few cold snaps, for causing plants to bloom weeks early and release the allergy-causing particles.
In some areas, allergists say pollen counts this week are as high as they’ve ever recorded. A clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville recorded 11,000 grains of pollen per cubic meter Tuesday, the worst in the 12 years they’ve tracked the number. The Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic has measured pollen since the 1980s and says this week’s counts have beaten a high mark recorded there in April 1999. Their count for Tuesday was almost 9,400. Fifteen-hundred is considered very high.
The medical director of the Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program says he’s been seeing more patients _ even while feeling puny himself.
“I’m kind of sniffly today,” Dr. David Hagaman said Tuesday.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says more than 40 million Americans have nasal allergies, popularly called hay fever. In severe cases, sufferers have difficulty breathing that can send them to the emergency room.
Stephanie Baxter was walloped when she returned to Gallatin, Tenn., from a vacation in Florida last week.
“We hit Tennessee and they started,” she said. “I have every possible symptom you can have. I’m trying to keep my energy because I have a 3-month-old and a 3-year-old. There’s no time for rest.”
For three years, the foundation has ranked Knoxville, Tenn., as the worst city in the country for allergies _ based on pollen counts, sales of allergy medications and the presence allergy specialists. The city has been up to 20 degrees warmer than normal the past few weeks. Spring arrived prematurely _ along with sales of nose spray.
“It’s blooming so early,” said Sam Roberts, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn. “Grass mowing has started early this year and stirred things up.”
Ranee Randby, community relations director for the Knox County Health Department, said Knoxville’s scenic location in the Tennessee valley contributes to the problem.
“We’re surrounded by mountains and whatever gets in here stays in here. It’s like a bowl,” she said. “It’s a beautiful, green part of the country but pollen comes with that.”
In San Antonio, Texas, patients with allergies have increased in the past few weeks at Southwest General Hospital. Daniel St. Armand, the emergency room director, doesn’t have to leave the hospital to find someone suffering.
“I have a friend who goes through this yearly and it affects his whole system,” he said. “He constantly has a runny nose and itchy skin and eyes. He’s just not himself.”
In Atlanta, Andre Osborne returned home from a long weekend to find his black Infiniti sedan caked in yellow pollen.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay comments
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow