Immunologist’s Tips for Surviving “Pollen Vortex 1” and “Pollen Vortex 2”


Dr. Joan Lelach says, ragweed pollen will likely join grass pollen to create a second Pollen Vortex for allergy sufferers this summer

Allergy sufferers hoping to survive a perfect storm of elevated tree and grass pollen during the next several weeks, aka the “pollen vortex,” need to prepare for a second wave of overlapping allergens coming later this summer, according to a leading immunologist.

“Nobody’s talking about this yet, but based on the way the climate has been behaving, we’re likely to experience a second pollen vortex when the grass pollen and the ragweed pollen begin to overlap, starting late July and August,” says Dr. Joan Lehach, an integrative medicine physician specializing in allergy, asthma and clinical immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “Because ragweed pollen creates such a strong allergic reaction, many people are going to get really sick, much worse than with pollen vortex 1, when these two pollens overlap.”

Dr. Lehach offers a few suggestions on how those with pollen allergies can breathe a bit easier during the next few months and survive pollen vortex 1 and pollen vortex 2:

  1. If you live in a suburban area, keep your grass short and have someone else mow it. If you are going to do yard duty, wear a well-fitting allergy mask.
  2. Do not hang your wash to dry outside, because, pollen bonds to fabric, like your bed sheets and T-shirts, and that pollen on the fabric will have you sneezing and wheezing all day and all night.
  3. Pollen counts are the highest very early in the morning, between 5-and 10-a.m., so if you do outdoor activities like jogging, it is better to jog in the evening or after 10 a.m.
  4. Rootology, a mixture of Chinese herbs, can be used to restore free breathing and reestablish nasal-and-sinus health in less than 20 minutes. I recommend that my patients take two capsules of this fast-acting supplement whenever pollen counts rise to uncomfortable levels. Rootology can be taken along with your current allergy meds to boost their effectiveness.
  5. Pollen tends to stick to hair, so wash your hair more frequently during pollen season.
  6. Keep your car windows and your windows at home closed and put the air conditioner on. Use the ‘re-circulate’ button on your air conditioner, because, then you are not bringing pollen in from outside.
  7. Beware of fruit. Because the proteins are similar, your body can mistake fruit for pollen and create some mild local reactions. I tell those who are allergic to trees to avoid apples, peaches and pears. I tell those with an allergy to grass to avoid melons, celery and kiwis, because, they can trigger an itchy mouth and throat. Eating an apple is not going to kill anyone, but people will get itchy mouths and they will be constantly clearing the back of their throat.



Dr. Joan Lehach has 27 years of experience treating patients in the New York City area and is currently an attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She is an integrative medicine physician specializing in allergy, asthma and clinical immunology and has the largest solo asthma and allergy practice in the Bronx. Dr. Lehach was named one of the top physicians in New York by “US News and World Report,” has helped design asthma protocols for a number of health plans, and lectures extensively on allergy and asthma.

(Tip was shared with TACDA from Michelle Tomao ??-??

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