Lots of tree pollen in Metro Detroit this week: How to curb allergy symptoms

Allergy symptom risk ‘high’ for next 10 days

Pollen coats a vehicle

DETROIT – If you’re feeling extra sneezy this week, you’re not alone: Tree pollen is high across Metro Detroit this week, and is triggering allergy symptoms for many.

For the last several weeks, tree pollen has been present with fairly consistently high levels, sometimes dropping to moderate levels. Grass and ragweed pollen and mold counts have mostly remained low to nonexistent, on the other hand.

On Monday, May 15, tree pollen levels are considered very high in the Detroit area, according to The Weather Channel. Levels will be high on the Tuesday and Wednesday that follow.

Over the next 10 days, the risk for allergy symptoms -- such as congestion, runny nose, throat irritation, and sinus pressure -- will remain high across Metro Detroit. The risk is likely the highest for those sensitive to tree allergies.

Here’s a look at The Weather Channel’s 10-day allergy forecast for Metro Detroit for May 15-25:

The Weather Channel's 10-day allergy forecast for the Detroit area for May 15-25, 2023. Courtesy of The Weather Channel's website. (The Weather Channel)

Dealing with spring allergies

With allergy season growing longer and longer every year in Metro Detroit thanks to climate change, those with spring allergies are urged to take conscious steps to help relieve or prevent symptoms.

Experts encourage people with a known history of allergies to begin their typical medications as early as they can -- about 2-4 weeks before their allergies might get triggered. Tree pollen typically becomes a problem in the early spring, while grass pollen worsens in the late spring, and ragweed pollen becomes a problem in the fall.

Some medications can take near-immediate effect, though, if you weren’t able to take allergy medicine far in advance.

People with springtime allergies are also encouraged not to open their windows when the weather is nice, in order to maintain a protective layer from the outside allergens. If spending time outside, people with allergies should change their clothes and shower when they get home to prevent pollen spread.

In general, it’s best to avoid spending a long time outdoors when allergen levels are high. If your allergy medications aren’t cutting it, or you’re getting recurring sinus infections or if the allergies are impacting your breathing, experts suggest visiting an allergist to narrow down the root cause.

People who are mixing multiple allergy medications should seek expert help to determine the best plan of action, as some allergy medications are not safe if mixed together.

---> Learn more: Tips for easing spring allergies

What weather is good for those with spring allergies?

When the weather quickly fluctuates between periods of rain and dry conditions, allergy symptoms will crop up for many, experts say. If it is going to rain, which it probably will (it is spring), the best case scenario would be daily rain showers over the course of several days.

Experts say warm temperatures and wind can especially trigger allergy symptoms. Warm weather leads to more pollen production, and the wind helps spread it around.

Ideal spring weather for allergy sufferers would feature cooler temperatures and little-to-no wind.

Dry conditions can cause trees and plants to grow more slowly, which can reduce the amount of pollen circulating in the air. But, if it’s dry and windy, whatever pollen is present can be blown around much more easily, triggering allergy symptoms.

Rain can actually make allergies worse.

---> Read: Does spring rain ease allergy symptoms or make them worse?

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.