Pollen levels 'extremely high' in Utah

- MIDVALE, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Sneezing, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat are all signs allergy season is here in Utah. But doctors say this year is an extremely bad year for pollen in the Beehive state.

“What we're seeing is record levels of pollen, it's really high,” said Dr. Rafael Firszt, University of Utah allergist. Firszt said there are two reasons for the bad season. For one, the warmer weather which caused the tree pollen season to start early in February, but also Utah's bad air quality this year is to blame.

“We've had terrible air days,” he said. “Increasing carbon dioxide levels will cause increasing pollen levels.”

Firszt said the levels are so high people who don't think they have allergies might start showing symptoms. “People may not know they have allergies or may have had more mild symptoms in the past, may have more serious symptoms, may have more asthma attacks because of it as well,” he said.

If you are dealing with the sneezing and sniffing this spring, Dr. Firzst said there are ways to avoid the pollen. For one, try to stay indoors in the morning when pollen levels are at their highest.

“Other things are keeping windows closed in home, closed in the car. If you've been outside take a shower after you come in, change your clothes because pollen can be on your clothes,” he said. “If you have pets try to keep them indoors.”

If you’d like to check the pollen levels in your neighborhood, click here.

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