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Pollen and Mold Levels

Pollen counts are updated daily from February 15 to November 15.

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Posted on: April 02, 2019

With longer days and abundant sunshine, many Charlotte residents are ready to shake off the doldrums of a too-long winter. You’re ready as well, but for you, Spring comes with its consequences. You know that with the beautiful weather comes an onslaught of allergy symptoms.

Since Charlotte is known as one of the harshest U.S. cities for spring allergies, no time is too soon to prepare for allergy season. We’ve provided six tips that will help you be proactive about your allergies this spring.  

  1. Know What You’re Allergic To

If you’re a spring allergy sufferer, then you’re more than likely allergic to pollen; however, do you know which type of pollen?

You might be asking yourself, “wait, what? There’s more than one type of pollen?” Indeed. You could be allergic to any of the following:

Statue at Charlotte's Romare Bearden Park with Blooming Spring Flowers

  • Tree pollen: Trees pollinate throughout the spring. Cedar and birch trees lead the pack starting in February. Oak and pine are the highest pollens in mid -spring in Charlotte. Other trees such as maple, cottonwood and birch can also be problematic in March and April.
  • Grass pollen: Depending on rainfall totals grass pollen is detectable in the late spring and continues through the summer. It finally disappears with the colder fall weather.
  • Mold: As the soil warms up the mold spores begin to be released. These are very weather dependent and increase dramatically in the days following rain. Mold counts can be higher in certain environments such as greenhouses, farms and antique stores.

Allergy testing can help identify your specific triggers which can help you predict the time of year you need to take precautions.

  1. Get on a Medication

Once you receive your allergy diagnosis from your allergist, your allergist will decide the best medication regimen for you.  Some of the medications prescribed include antihistamines, decongestants, steroid nasal sprays, and more. Many allergy medications are available over the counter; your allergist can guide you through the many choices.

  1. Get to Know the Pollen Counts

Sneeze-O-Meter, Charlotte's only pollen and mold counter

Whether your allergies stem from ragweed, grass, oak, or birch pollens, it’s important to get familiar with pollen counts. Here at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we carryout pollen detection locally for you. Our pollen counter is in our Southpark office collects air samples daily February through November. The collected particles are then identified under a microscope and are posted to our website. On this page, you can track the daily levels of weed, grass, and tree pollens as well as mold spores before heading outdoors. You can see not only this year’s daily pollen count but see the historical averages for the past 10 years. This can help predict what to expect in the coming months. We are glad to offer this service to our community.   Check out the local pollen here.

  1. Plan Your Outdoor Time Strategically

It’s springtime, so of course you don’t want to be cooped up in the house or at work all the time. However, when you step outside, you often start getting sneezy and itchy in minutes.

It could be that you’re outdoors when pollen counts are highest. There are certain times of day you should venture out and others you should attempt to stay inside. On average pollen counts are highest in the early morning hours, 5 to 10 AM.  The warmer middle of the afternoon is the worst time, as pollen counts will skyrocket.

If it rains, then you get more freedom. Always listen to your body, though. Rain might not wash away every particle of pollen. If you feel allergy symptoms coming on, then get inside.

  1. Keep a Clean House

When you do get back home from an outdoor adventure, take your shoes off immediately. Wash your hands and hop in the shower. Wash your clothes right away if you can. Tell other members of your family to do the same. This should prevent you from tracking allergens inside. If you have pets, you’ll want to clean any puppy or kitty paws and wipe their fur after they come back in.  If you clean house wear a mask and gloves to avoid inhaling or touching any settled pollen. Of course keeping windows and doors closed is essential.

Mold levels indoors can be decreased by monitoring humidity levels. Mold growth is slowed when the humidity levels are less than 60%. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners will lower humidity levels.

  1. Get Allergy Shots

If you’re still suffering from spring allergies, then you might want to think about a stronger treatment. Allergy shots are something to consider and would be prescribed by your allergist.

Your allergy office will administer these shots which include a tiny portion of pollen or whatever allergen causes your symptoms. This treatment is known as immunotherapy. The goal of this immunotherapy is to slowly introduce the allergen to your immune system in increasing doses in a controlled setting, so that you will eventually stop experiencing allergy symptoms all together.

While your spring allergies might not disappear entirely, they will become milder.

Infographic demonstrating six tips to prepare for spring allergies by Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center

Got Spring Allergies? Come to Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center Today!

Spring allergies can make one of the best times of year less than enjoyable. If you want to reclaim Spring this year, then come to Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center. We’re based in Charlotte but have locations across North and South Carolina. These include University, Mooresville, Hickory, Cornelius, Ballantyne, Waverly, Rock Hill, Huntersville, Gastonia, Concord, Eastover, SouthPark and Monroe.

While we do specialize in Spring allergies, that’s not all we treat. We also work with patients with asthma, insect allergies, drug allergies, food allergies, and more. Give us a call today or contact us online to set up your appointment.