PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A stretch of warm and dry weather has led to a record-high pollen count in the Willamette Valley, according to health experts.
Oregon Health & Science University Allergist Dr. Shyam Joshi told KOIN 6 News that the combination of a lack of rain to keep pollen down and the increased heat is causing more grass pollen than usual in the air.
“Usually, end of May through June and then early July, we see a spike in specific grass pollen, and this is more so in the Willamette Valley, further south in the Eugene area, but here in Portland we get plenty of it as well,” Joshi said. “This year is a little bit more unique in that we’ve had really dry weather. Usually, we see a lot more rainy days through May than we did this year. And so, with this string of dry, warm weather it’s led to kind of an earlier and more robust pollination season,” Joshi added.
Joshi recommends allergy sufferers to try to reduce their exposure to pollen by staying indoors, closing windows, using air purifiers and washing their clothes, hands and face. He also recommends allergy treatments such as nasal saline sprays.
“We’re seeing record-high levels of pollen in the Willamette Valley,” Joshi said. “There are a lot of people suffering even more so this year than I think previous years because the counts were so high.”
After grass pollen counts taper in early to mid-July, Joshi says weed pollen season follows.