This weekend could be ‘big problem’ for allergy sufferers in New Jersey
You may have had temporary relief from your seasonal allergies thanks to a burst of rain across the Garden State, but the suffering is expected to return in full force for the next few days, and you may not be completely in the clear for quite some time.
As New Jersey warms up over the weekend, featuring temperatures above the 90-degree mark, allergy sufferers will get another hit of the tree pollen that's coating everything in its way, including cars, mailboxes, and backyard furniture.
"At this point, it's mostly the oak trees and the birch trees that are producing all that green powder that we're seeing," said Dr. Joel Mendelson, director of allergy and immunology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Beth Israel has been seeing "a lot of suffering" this allergy season, Mendelson said, including emergency-room visits due to swollen eyes, congestion, and asthma exacerbation.
"I have people calling up because they're missing days of work or school," he said.
New Jersey's spring allergy season got a bit of an early start in 2022, according to Dr. Leonard Bielory, professor of medicine, allergy, immunology and ophthalmology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.
Trees typically pollinate through the end of May. According to Mendelson, New Jersey has likely reached "the peak of tree producing season." But the impact is far from over.
"I think this weekend is going to be a big problem. It's going to be very hot," Mendelson said.
He advises severe allergy sufferers to stay indoors during the morning hours, when the increasing temperatures will help pollen rise into the air. Pollen is a buoyant particle and can sometimes be found 10 miles from its source.
"Now it's a matter of getting enough rain to wash it away," Mendelson said.
The next allergy threat in New Jersey is grass pollen. Ragweed season, which arrives in late summer, thrives on good amounts of rain leading up to it.