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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - First, the "Polar Vortex" held Louisville in frigid captivity this winter and now, a phenomenon known as the "Pollen Vortex" is sweeping through the city.
The pollen vortex is what some are calling the high pollen counts being experienced in various places across the country.
Trees are budding and blooming. While they look pretty, they're causing lots of problems for allergy sufferers.
Easton Nichols, 7, is getting tested, trying to find some relief from seasonal allergies.
"He's mostly had a cough. It's been persistent all day and all night despite the breathing treatments that's why we went ahead and brought him in," said Jessica Nichols, Easton's mother.
"The prettier the weather, generally the more allergy problems people have. So, if you have a rainy stretch, it will dampen the amount of pollen in the air," explained Dr. Jim Sublett with Family Allergy and Asthma.
Some experts say winter's extended cold is leading to a shorter, more intense allergy season. The polar vortex delayed spring temperatures, so many plants are releasing pollen simultaneously in what's being called the pollen vortex.
"It's going to be a shortened season, but does that make it a worsened season? I don't think we have any data to support that," said Dr. Sublett.
The roof of the Family Allergy and Asthma building on Shelbyville Road is an air sampler that collects information to get the pollen counts for trees, weeds, grass and mold. The information is shared with the public. It's the only sampler of its kind in Louisville.
No doubt your car is covered with green and yellow particles, but allergists say it may not be all pollen and may not be causing allergy problems.
"All of your allergens are very tiny and they stay airborne for lengths of time... enough that you get the exposure. So, what settles out that rapidly generally doesn't cause the problem," said Dr. Sublett.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also just ranked Louisville the Spring Allergy Capital -- the number-one worst place for allergies
It's based on pollen levels, use of allergy medications and the number of allergists. The ranking says tree pollen was high by early February, with peaks in March and April.
"With the pollen and the weather changes so drastic, it's been really bad this year," Jessica Nichols said.
If you need some relief, see an allergist. There's always medication, shots and masks while you're outside.