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

Mar 19, 2019

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

Credit Claudio Jofre Larenas /

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.

Grass field in Oregon.
Credit Oregon Department of Agriculture /

“…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.