Pollen count high in the Grand Valley, experts say

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Experts said April is one of the worst months for people who suffer from allergies in the Grand Valley.

Bad allergies are typical this time of year.

"April is one of the hardest pollen months," said Dr. David Scott, an allergist with the Allergy and Asthma Center of Western Colorado.

Spring means trees are growing, flowers are blooming and allergies are skyrocketing for some.

“It's pretty prevalent right now with the trees, juniper, cottonwood," said Heath Killian, who has allergies. "Itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion."

Dr. Scott said there’s a lot of pollen in our Grand Valley air.

"We mostly see Juniper, but we're seeing a lot of Cottonwood this year, some Aspen and Poplar this year as well," he said.

The Allergy and Asthma Center of Western Colorado is one of the only places that does a pollen count in our area.

"We have a rotarod style pollen counter up on the roof, it sits up there collecting pollen 24 hours a day,” said Dr. Scott.

Here's how it works.

"It spins one minute out of every 10, said Dr. Scott. "When it spins the centrifugal force pulls these little grease rods down. As they spin they actually collect pollen that collects right on the rod."

After a couple of days of collecting pollen, allergists will stain it and put it under the microscope.

"Pollen count is on the high side," said Dr. Scott.

Allergy sufferers said recent weather patterns don’t help with the symptoms.

"Windy days are the worst," said Killian.

Dr. Scott adds that living in a Valley can also heighten those symptoms,
"The pollen recirculates here and we get extremely high tree pollen levels."

Spring allergy season will continue a little while longer before summer allergies pick up.

"Juniper will extend for another four weeks or so, and we'll get quite a bit of scrub oak which pollinates on the Mesa then blow down into town and that’ll extend into June," said Dr. Scott.

The Allergy and Asthma Center of Western Colorado is in the process of trying to get credentialed as a National Allergy Bureau Pollen Station. It would be the only one between Denver and Salt Lake City.

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