Pine pollen's bad rap not cause of allergy suffering

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by Othello Richards & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 6:40 PM

SPOKANE-- If you have allergies to pollen, you probably don't look forward to this time of year. But a lot of the pollen people can see right now, may not be the source of your discomfort.

It's hard to not find yellow dust on your car in Spokane.   Doctors say most of it comes from Ponderosa Pines, and more than likely, it's not causing your sneezing, runny nose and red eyes.

Dr. Richard Gower is an allergy specialist at the Marycliff Center on Spokane's lower South Hill. He said, “People who are allergic to it obviously have a lot of problems at this point in time, but most people have grass allergies.”

One of the biggest culprits right now for seasonal allergies is actually something you can't see with the naked eye, grass pollen. “What happens is people blame the pine pollen instead of the grass pollen because it's not abundant, it's not as big, but it's out there mixed in with the pine pollen.”

Gower says few people are allergic to pine tree pollen.  He's conducting a study right now.  Out of 22 people, none showed allergies to ponderosa, but all showed symptoms to grass.

Gower says grass pollen is increasing and probably will get worse in the next week or so. “You’ve got avoidance, medication and allergy shots.  My whole career that's what I’ve been telling patients.  Either that and just be miserable and put up with it which is not real smart because we've got very good medicines now”

Dr. Gower says keeping your lawn mowed short will keep the pollen down, but then you have your neighbors and grass that just grows wild elsewhere. He says there' not much people can do to avoid it.
 

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