Earth Gauge: Understanding Allergies

Ah-choo! High pollen levels throughout much of the country mean that millions of Americans are sniffling, sneezing and itching. Spring allergies are usually caused by tree pollen, while grasses are generally the culprit during late spring and summer. Weather and environmental conditions affect the severity of your allergy symptoms. Pollen moves around less when conditions are rainy, cloudy and still, so your allergy symptoms may be better on these days. Pollen travels more readily on hot, dry and windy days, which can increase allergy symptoms. Exposure to outdoor air pollution like ozone can also increase sensitivity to allergens.

Viewer Tip: Limiting your exposure to pollen can help manage allergy symptoms.

-Button up. Keep windows at home and in the car closed to keep pollen from drifting into your living space.

-Dry clothes indoors. Avoid hanging clothes outside to dry, where they can collect pollens.

-Spend time outside after 10:00 a.m. Pollens are usually emitted in the early morning hours, from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m.

-Garden carefully. Mowing and raking can stir up pollen and mold.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has more tips for dealing with outdoor allergens.

You can always find the PollenCAST on our website under Weather Graphics.

(Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). â??Outdoor Allergens: Tips to Remember.â??; Weir C, et al â??Ambient air pollution and allergic sensitization: results from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006â?³ AAAAI 2012; Abstract 72)