Allergist: Grass seed pollen seen a couple weeks early

EUGENE, Ore. -- For many, heading outdoors to enjoy the late spring sunshine is often accompanied with sniffles.

The southern Willamette Valley is notorious for being especially hard on allergy sufferers, as the high levels of tree and grass pollen are abundant in Linn and Lane County.

Dr. Jason Friesen of the Oregon Allergy Associates told KVAL News that the grass seed pollen season started early this year.

"So the traditional kickoff for the grass season, the big days of grass pollen is Memorial Day. But this year we might expect that those big days might be coming one or two weeks early," said Dr. Friesen.

Many Eugene residents have seen evidence of the early season floating around town.

While allergy sufferers can take comfort in the fact that allergy season will end two weeks sooner than in a typical year, Friesen said that the pollen season hasn't peaked yet. For that reason he suggests people start planning for the season early.

"If you're just handling it with over the counter stuff you can start taking your over the counter antihistamine," said Dr. Friesen. "On big days you can just stay inside although that's no fun, that will work somewhat as well."

Other options include taking scheduled allergy shots through the season.

Dr. Friesen said the only thing that will slow down this grass seed pollen season is rain, but looking at that forecast it doesn't seem like we'll get relief any time soon.