Surviving pollen season in Columbia, SC

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DYK — Cola ranks as the No. 12 city in the US as the most challenging place to live for spring allergy sufferers, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America?

At this point, you’ve probably used your car’s windshield wipers at least once to clear off a dusting of yellow pollen. Like the past few years, pollen season got an early start in the Carolinas. According to a 2021 study from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, allergy seasons are now ten days longer than they were thirty years ago, and trees are producing 21% more pollen.

The pine + cedar pollen that turns everything in sight yellow isn’t typically the pollen that flares allergies. It’s the pollen you can’t see from at least 18 other common South Carolina trees that cause symptoms like itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion + asthma.

🟡 Pollen breakdown

  • What is it anyway? It is a fine to coarse powder containing the reproductive cells of seed plants.
  • In spring, tree pollen peaks, followed by grass pollen in the summer and ragweed pollen in the fall.
  • Rain + warm weather will increase pollination levels.
  • According to, the top pollen allergies in our area are Oak, Willow + Birch.

🌳 Allergy tips

  • Pollen counts are highest between 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., so plan your outdoor activities accordingly.
  • Keep your home + car windows closed.
  • Be sure to bathe your outdoor pets as their fur attracts pollen.
  • Run your air conditioner to keep air circulating.

Some days are better than others when it comes to allergies, so be sure to check the daily Allergy Tracker to keep up with daily pollen counts.

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