My Local Pollen Count: How Is it Measured and Is it Reliable?

Keep an eye on pollen counts

Spring allergies are a bummer. If you have a pollen allergy, you know how important it is to keep an eye on pollen counts all season long.

Like most allergies, a pollen allergy is simply your body is trying to protect you from a foreign substance. By keeping an eye on your local pollen count, you should be able to gauge how severe your symptoms might be, and therefore take the necessary preventative steps.

It’s kind of like being able to predict and alter the future.

You may be wondering though – how is my local pollen count measured, and is it even reliable?

What’s a rotorod?

A rotorod measures your local pollen count. This device spins at a high rate to collect particles from the atmosphere, which can then be analyzed and measured.

Per the American Council on Science and Health:
The sampling device uses silicone grease-coated clear rods that test the air on a schedule, usually over the course of 24 hours. The rods are then examined for the number of pollen grains covering the rod or portions of it. This count can then be converted into units of grains per cubic meter of air, and eventually into a calculated amount that makes sense to the general public: low, moderate, or high.

Who Tracks Pollen?

Secondly, as far as reliability, there are actually no government pollen trackers, only private companies.

In fact, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, anyone can become a pollen counter. All you have to do is pass an exam and earn a certification to be a pollen tracker.

Because of this, the majority of pollen counts available to the public only show trends and therefore aren’t 100% accurate. Still, some information is better than no information. Perhaps the best way to get a 100% accurate reading is to become a pollen counter yourself!

Tips to Proactively Alleviate Your Pollen Allergy

  • Opt into allergy alerts from Pollen.com to stay up to date on trending pollen activity in your area
  • Dust and clean your home often as you and your family are surely unknowingly tracking pollen into your home every day
  • Shower at night to wash pollen out of your hair and keep it off your bed, leading to a more resful night’s sleep
  • Ask a doctor about your allergiesto rule out any underlying concerns that may not be the result of pollen
  • Use an air purifier to remove pollen as well as dust, mold spores and other airborne pollutants from your air

Clean air is healthy air, pure and simple. Air purification acts as a natural remedy to spring allergies. If it’s not in your air, it’s not in your lungs.

That said, each home has different needs. For a whole-home air purifier solution, find a trained Aprilaire Healthy Air Professional near you to talk about the pollen in your home. For a case-by-case air purification solution, look into a room air purifier designed to remove up to 99.97% of allergens – including pollen, pet dander, mold spores, germs and other airborne impurities.

Sources
https://www.acsh.org/news/2016/04/01/how-do-we-count-pollen-anyway
https://www.pollen.com/allergy/allergy-prevention
https://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts/counting-stations
https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/health-answers/not-all-pollen-counts-are-equal/

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