How should I prepare for a high pollen count?

Do you have seasonal allergies and do you follow when there is a high pollen count? As much as you may rely on cold & allergy medications and other solutions to keep symptoms at bay, the catalyst is a high pollen count for many people. More than 60 million Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis, which refers to the physiological response of an individual who inhales an allergen, which results in symptoms in the eyes and nose. If your trigger is pollen, this is known as "hay fever," and it can make your life miserable when pollen counts start to soar.

A pollen count is calculated by measured the concentration of pollen in a certain area during a specific period (usually 24 hours). The measurement utilizes air-sampling devices that collect particles from the air onto a transparent, sticky service. The particles are analyzed under a microscope to measure how many pollen grains are present. The National Weather Service and most local news stations are the best sources of information about pollen counts, but what should you do when high pollen counts arise?

Here are a few tips about preparing for a high pollen count:

Sign up for pollen count alerts

The Weather Channel app is already handy for checking the weather forecast on the go. You may also be able to set up pollen count alerts on your smartphone or other mobile device. Alerts will give you extra time to prepare for high pollen counts.

Keep your home closed

Keeping windows closed prevents the spread of pollen and other allergens throughout your home. You can run the air conditioning instead. This will ensure that your home is as sterile as possible, which can help stop your allergy symptoms in their tracks after a long day contending with them.

Invest in pollen masks

Wearing a pollen mask on days when the pollen counts are particularly high and the air quality is low can keep pollen at bay. Pollen counts are at their highest during the hours of 5 am and 10 am, so wearing a mask during these peak hours can dramatically limit your allergic reactions.

Wash up!

After you come home each day, make an effort to throw your clothes in the laundry machine quickly to remove all traces of pollen and to prevent it from ending up on your home's furnishings. Next, hop in the shower to wash off any pollen that may be lingering on your hair and skin. This is a smart strategy to keep your home as sterile as possible and to avoid re-triggering your symptoms.

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