Cottonwood Falls Like Snow In West Michigan, What It Means For Allergy Sufferers

Posted at 11:37 PM, Jun 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-19 16:17:50-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 17, 2014)- At times you may think you’ll need to bust out the snow scraper, but those cotton ball snowflakes we have been seeing for weeks in West Michigan is typically a good sign for those who suffer from tree pollen allergies.

It just so happens this year, tree pollen and other allergens are overlapping.

Dr. Vincent Dubravec with Allergy/Asthma Specialist W. MI said, “If you are allergic to both tree and grass pollen, it kind of multiplies the problem.”

So while the fluffy white cotton balls that we see falling from the sky offer a good visual cue that allergies are in full bloom right now, it’s not necessarily the cottonwood that we are allergic to, it’s more what’s beneath our feet.

“It’s classic,” said Dr. Dubravec.  “When the cottonwood starts falling that is the start of grass pollen season and those folks are having trouble with the grass pollen.”

Grass pollen is especially troublesome this time of year.  The plentiful snow of winter has given way to lush, green grass and helped mold as well.

The microscopic pollen created is wreaking havoc and because we can clearly see the cottonwood, most people naturally associate that as the culprit.

What can be done about it? There are over the counter drugs, nasal sprays, and of course a round of allergy shots that have proven to be effective if done consistently but there is also a new product on the market.

“Instead of allergy shots, the dissolving tablets that is specific for grass pollen and ragweed and maybe dust mites later on but they are not going to cover the other allergies that we can cover with the vaccine shots,” said Dr. Dubravec.

The Doctor said the tablets melt on your tongue but they are only effective you begin taking them three to four months prior to allergy season.