Ah! Warmer air, bird songs, budding plants and what’s this: gummy eyes, runny noses, scratchy throats and coughing?

A couple of warmer days and all of a sudden, it’s pollen season as our beloved evergreens, cedars, junipers, alders and birch start their annual reproductive ritual.

Tree-pollen counts are high this week and predicted to climb through the weekend, according to Pollen.com’s extended forecast.

Seattle-area allergy experts say Western Washington is one of the best places to discover whether you’re allergic to tree pollen and once an allergy exists, it takes little to activate.

One breath on a beautiful spring, or springlike, day can do it.

“The key feature of allergies and our immune system in general is also the reason they are persistent and frustrating,” Dr. Jakob von Moltke, an assistant professor of immunology at the UW School of Medicine, has said. “You can go a whole winter without any issues, and then your immune system is triggered in seconds.”


Because most plants release their pollen at night, take your allergy medicine at night and keep those windows closed.

Information from The Seattle Times archive is included in this report.