The weather is changing, birds are returning and pollen is in the air. While the warm spring breeze indicates summer is on its way, it is also carrying with it some hidden invaders on course to cause hay fever. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from pollen allergies.
As an allergy sufferer myself, I want to enjoy the outdoors. However, I can’t always do so when the Pollen Count is high. Why is it that when I look up the pollen count, it doesn’t always coincide with my reaction to the air?
This is because most media outlets are not posting pollen counts; they are posting pollen forecasts. A National Allergy Bureau study in 2011 found significant differences in official pollen statics and those reported on popular pollen websites.
Pollen Count vs. Pollen Forecast
A pollen count is scientifically gathered specimens of pollen from the air. The samples are then examined microscopically. A pollen forecast uses the pollen count, weather trends and historic pollen data to create a reasonable prediction of pollen levels. Error is impossible to avoid in a pollen count because of its very nature as a prediction.
Forecasts are also limited to location. Major news outlets are going to make predictions for a wide viewing area, which means the forecasts are not specific to you and your family.
As an allergy sufferer, you are aware of which pollen causes an allergic reaction. However, pollencasts are often negligent on reporting the types of pollen that are going to present. That means if you are allergic to pine pollen, but oak pollen is predicted to be high that day. The only information you will receive is a High Alert for pollen with no reference to the type of pollen that could be in high amounts.
For allergy suffers it is important to be prepared for the worst this allergy season has in store.
The best thing is to have a really great Air Cleaner in your home ensuring your home is always allergen free, whether the pollencast is right or wrong.