If your spring allergies are off the charts this year, there’s a good chance that what you’re reacting to is the high pollen count in your geographic area. If you have terrible spring allergies, it might help to know you’re not alone; in fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies – and pollen is a main offender. Common physical reactions to pollen are:
watery and/or itchy eyes
Like all allergy seasons, seasonal pollen can vary from year-to-year in severity, depending on the region and other environmental factors. Determining the pollen count today in your region can help you manage your allergies and plan a fun (and enjoyable) spring!
So what exactly is pollen?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, pollen is a fine yellowish powder that is transported from plant to plant by the wind, by birds, by insects or by other animals. Tree pollen is particularly common, with some of the biggest producers of pollen being
If you’re plagued with pollen allergies, a good rule of thumb is to plan ahead when it comes to outdoor activities. You can easily determine the pollen index for your area, and TV meteorologists might routinely include the pollen forecast on your local news channel. If you or someone in your family is especially sensitive to pollen, it might be wise to postpone or reschedule outdoor activities for a different day if high pollen counts are expected.
Pollen inside your home
The effects of pollen aren’t strictly limited to outdoor environments, however. Pollen can make its way inside your home by various means: shoes, clothing, pets – anything that’s been outside for even a few minutes can collect pollen, tracking it back inside your home. Additionally, homes that aren’t well-sealed, or where outside doors are opened and closed frequently, can easily usher in tiny pollen grains, where they then circulate within your indoor air supply and act as allergy triggers.
There are some smart ways to make sure your home and indoor air quality is as clean as possible.
First, vacuum your carpets and soft surfaces often. Vacuums with filters prevent dirt and allergens from escaping back into the home.
It’s also a great idea to equip your home with an allergy air purifier that’s specifically geared toward removing allergens like pollen and other allergy triggers from your indoor space.