*Update*: On March 19, 2012, the pollen count in Atlanta was 8,164, breaking the old record of 6,013 set in 1999.
With today’s pollen count at a startling 2258, we thought it a good idea to share with you some tips for beating sensitivity to pollen as best you can this Spring. Over 35 million Americans are sensitive to pollen, if you’re one of them, this list should help:
Know the Pollen Count
Here’s a great website for residents of the Atlanta, GA area to check the pollen count, which changes daily – http://www.atlantaallergy.com/pollenCount.aspx Staying on top of the pollen count makes it easier to take proactive steps to avoid sensitivity before it starts. As a general guide, here are the ranges for pollen count levels:
- Low: 0-14
- Moderate: 15-89
- High: 90-1499
- Extremely High: 1500+
Exercise in the Evening
Pollen counts are highest in the morning, but because pollen travels freely on warm, dry and breezy days, pollen levels can often peak midday. If you exercise outdoors, plan on doing so in the evening, after 5 p.m. during days with high pollen counts. For your safety, please be sure to exercise with a partner.
Wear a Mask When Doing Yard Work
If you’re sensitive or allergic to pollen, it is not ideal to also be responsible for yard work. But if you must, wear a mask. You can pick one up at your local hardware store or pharmacy. Try doing yard work very early in the morning, while there’s still dew out, or in the later afternoon/evening, once pollen levels have subsided.
Proactively Treat Your Allergies
If you are allergic or particularly sensitive to pollen, there are plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines available to help you control your symptoms.
You should consult your allergist for the medication and treatment plan that’s best for you, but getting your symptoms under control before they have the opportunity to get out of hand is wise during pollen season.
Protect Your Home, Your Car & Your Body
Keep doors and windows to your residence and car closed as much as possible when the pollen count is high. Pollen particles are no wider than a single strand of human hair, and they can easily pass through holes in window screens. Also, if particularly sensitive, change clothes and shower after returning home to remove pollen from your person and to avoid spreading it throughout your home.
If you’re interested in sinus, nasal, and allergy treatment at Emory, you can visit our Sinus, Nasal & Allergy website. Have any other ideas for how to limit pollen sensitivity this Spring? Feel free to share and leave them in the comments section below!