Bad Pollen Season Taking Its Toll Across The Country

04.12.10 | FL News Team

People allergic to pollen probably don't need to be told they're suffering through one of the worst seasons on record. But it may be some consolation to know that they're not imagining the reason for their head-clogging, eye-misting misery. Unusually cold winter weather kept trees from pollinating until recently and now, as "USA Today" is reporting, they're making up for lost time.

 The Weather Channel says Atlanta has it worst. A pollen count of 120 would be high, but they topped 57-hundred last week. The city's only recorded one worse season, back in 1999. At least one in five Americans is affected by pollen, with five-percent of the U.S. population getting sick enough to need a specialist. Symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, runny noses and sneezing and wheezing and sometimes even hives. Richard Lockey, an allergist with the University of South Florida, says it's like having "a bad cold for two, three months."

 Pollen.com is running a color-coded map of the states. Only the west coast and northern border states are completely spared the dark band indicating a high count.