Spring - and pollen season - has sprung

Pollen is putting it down.

Seemingly overnight, the fine, dustlike particles that ride on the wind have become omnipresent on the Grand Strand.

Like tiny tumbleweeds, they whirl and twirl in the breeze. Like paint, they cover our vehicles with yellowish-green mist.

It is the reason for our itchy eyes, runny noses and sneezes.

And like that houseguest that visits in the summer and won't leave, pollen isn't going anywhere soon.

"Up North, pollen season is usually over by October," said Dr. Mark Schecker of Coastal Carolina Allergy & Asthma Associates in Myrtle Beach.

"Here, it can last until December. That's why people tend to have more problems here because the pollen season lasts longer. About 80 percent of the year here, you are getting pollen."

Typically, tree pollen starts in mid-February and keeps going strong until mid-April. All the while, grass pollen season is already on the scene by mid-April and usually hangs around until late June. Then, weed pollen season shows up around Aug. 15 and sticks around until the weather turns cold again.

"That's not very kind of Mother Nature, is it?" Schecker said. "That is a lot of time."

Pollen is especially mobile on windy days.

"Pollen can travel 50 miles from where it is released, even 100 miles from where it is released," Schecker said.

"You can run, but you can't hide."

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