Allergy season is in full throttle this spring. Pollen counts have been consistently high in the past few weeks, some days over two thousand, some days even over three thousand with little relief.
“Pollen is typically worse first thing in the morning, so if you have to be outside, it is better to do that later in the afternoon. Once you have been outside, its best to shower and wash it off and particularly before you get into bed,”says Dr. Todd Levin with the Chattanooga Allergy Clinic
Dr. Levin says they have been very busy with patients suffering from pollen. The clinic says they have been recommending others even before covid-19 to wear a mask outdoors when there is a high allergen count. But, sometimes, even that won’t do it.
Dr. Levin says,”We’ll put together a comprehensive plan to control symptoms with medications avoidance measures, and immunotherapy which is allergy shots that can basically retrain their immune system so that they are less allergic.”
Now what exactly does the pollen count mean and how is it calculated. Steve Langston from the Chattanooga – Hamilton county air control bureau has the answers.
“At one at rest breath, on a day like this or what it has been for the last couple of weeks, your taking in at least a couple of pollen grains. Or if you’re out there exercising and taking in your full lung capacity of about six liters, you’re taking in at least twelve to fifteen pollen grains per breath,” says Langston.
Langston continues, “We use a, what we call a rotorod sampler which basically it just spins at a set rate for one minute out of every ten minutes collecting pollen and it gives us an average pollen grain per cubic meter averaged over about a 24 hour period.”
Langston says from there it goes under a microscope where they do calculations for the pollen count. It will then be released on their website: https://apcb.org/ .
For more information on how to get relief from pollen this season, head here to make an appointment!