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Nurse practitioner gives tips for dealing with pollen
Pollen season is in full swing in North Georgia, covering cars and cars and wreaking havoc on those who suffer from allergies.

That dusty yellow stuff that always lingers around this time of year is back, and it arrived earlier than expected.

Lauren Ingram, a nurse practitioner at Advanced Allergy of North Georgia, said pollen normally rears its ugly head around the first week of springtime, but this year it came at the end of February.

“It came unseasonably early,” Ingram said.

At the last count she saw Wednesday, the count was a 1,010. Pollen is measured in particles of pollen per cubic meter of air.

“That’s a normal number for this time of year,” she said.

Even some grasses, she said, were pollinating at the end of February when they normally don’t until late May.
Jennifer Pham, who lives in Flowery Branch, absolutely hates pollen.

Every morning when she wakes up, her eyes start watering, her nose starts running and she sneezes throughout the day.

“I hate it right now and I always feel tired. I can’t even enjoy the pretty weather and roll my windows down when I drive,” Pham said. “My eyes automatically start to water as soon as I see all the pollen on my car.”

Ingram has a few suggestions

  • people can rinse their noses out with a saline solution
  • shower after being outside for extended periods of time
  • take an antihistamine 

“I hate to tell people not to go outside,” Ingram said.

Headaches and sinus problems have been the norm for Courtney Peck.

“My eyes have been awful this year, too. I’ve been miserable,” said Peck, a teacher at C.W. Davis Middle School.

To relieve her symptoms, Peck’s been taking Allegra and Benadryl every two to three days.

Pham is also prone to needing medications, and she takes Allegra daily and Pataday eye drops, she said.

Nasal sprays are also a common form of relief for her.

“Sometimes I even need my inhaler. It affects me every year, like as soon as it starts to get a little warm, I feel the effects before anyone I know does. I used to have to get allergy shots because they’re so bad,” Pham said.

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