Pollen Pummels U.S.

Pass the tissues and the antihistamines: this year's allergy season is already a doozy because, as one allergist put it, the pollen is "wicked bad this year." The Southeast is covered in a thick layer of annoying yellow dust thanks to an unseasonably cold winter, which may have delayed the blooming of some plants, creating a veritable pollen apocalypse. Oak trees are a particular concern in the region, as they produce 3,000 to 6,000 pollen particles per cubic meter. A mere 10 particles can trigger an allergic reaction. It's not just the Southeast either. The season is just kicking off, with most of the country facing high pollen counts this spring. Once the tree pollen tapers off, hayfever sufferers have the summer grass and weed season to look forward to.