© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Winter Storm 2019 Delays Grass Pollen Allergy Season...A Little

Claudio Jofre Larenas

For allergy sufferers across the Willamette Valley, the huge winter storm that hit the region last month will provide some reprieve. 

The recent balmy weather means leftover ice and snow are mostly gone. Melanie Wayne, Nurse Practitioner at Oregon Allergy Associates, says because it was an unseasonably late and cold winter event, local grass farmers are behind in their planting.

Credit Oregon Department of Agriculture / Flickr.com
Grass field in Oregon.

“…because the soil’s has still been just too cold," Wayne tells KLCC.  "I don’t think it’ll delay grass season much, we will still see it in the same time frame, but the actual peak, the very highest grass pollen counts may be pushed out a week or two.  Which will still put us in the early part of June.”

Which buys allergy sufferers time to start their medication regimen, to help offset the worst of sneezing fits. Wayne says the Willamette Valley reigns as one of the worst places worldwide for grass pollen concentrations, going up to 1000 parts per cubic meter.

20 parts is generally rated as “high.”

Wayne says April is a good time to start with meds.  She says Oregon Allergy Associates is now issuing an oral densensitization tablet that is actually a form of grass pollen. It dissolves under the tongue or between the lower lip and gum.  Europe has been using sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for several years now, and it's been put on the U.S. market for several month now.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content