If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you know the impact high pollen levels can have. Fortunately, with your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can track the number of pollen in your area and be better prepared.
People with seasonal allergies are most affected at specific times of the year. Spring is a particularly difficult time, because then the plants become active again and a lot of plant material is released into the air. Pollen is one of the biggest culprits, and there are a number of ways to control pollen levels.
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What is a “pollen count”
; and how is it calculated?
“Pollen Level” and “Pollen Count” are the terms we usually use to describe the amount of pollen in the air. You may be wondering how this is measured and how accurate it is, so let’s take a look at that.
One way to measure the amount of pollen in the air is with a device called a ‘rotorod sampler’. It is a device equipped with sticks covered with a sticky substance. The rods spin and collect pollen for a time and are then inspected for pollen.
The pollen count is then converted into units such as “grains per cubic meter of air” and then a simple “high”, “average” or “low” rating is given. Since these are hyper-local devices, the levels may not always be accurate for where you are.
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How to check the pollen count
Weather services often keep track of pollen levels along with the climate. Many of the popular weather apps available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices include some sort of “Allergy Forecast” section.
For example, the Weather Channel app, which is available for iPhone, iPad and Android, has a map on the main screen for ‘Health and Activities’. You can quickly see the current allergy risk assessment in your area and view a forecast for the next 15 days.
For something a little more allergy and pollen-focused, we recommend an app called ‘Klarify’. It is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It shows the current levels and has a forecast. It specifies the types of pollen, along with grass and weeds. You can even create an account and keep track of how you feel.
If you don’t just want to install an app to monitor pollen levels, there are a number of websites that track this as well. You can even add shortcuts to the home screen of your smartphone. The Weather Channel allergy page features the 15-day weather forecast and several types of pollen.
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Another great website is Pollen.com. You are immediately greeted with a map of the United States. Simply select your area to zoom in and see pollen levels details. After you pick up your area, you can see a rating for today, tomorrow, and the next five days.
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