If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you know the impact high pollen levels can have. Thankfully, using your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can monitor the pollen count in your area and be better prepared.
People with seasonal allergies are most affected at specific times of the year. Spring is an especially rough time, as this is when plants become active again, releasing a lot of plant matter into the air. Pollen is one of the biggest culprits, and there are a number of ways to monitor pollen levels as well as other air pollutants.
What Is a “Pollen Count,” and How Is It Calculated?
“Pollen Level” and “Pollen Count” are the terms that we typically use to describe the amount of pollen in the air. You might be wondering how this is measured and how accurate it is, so let’s take a quick look at that.
One way that the amount of pollen in the air can be measured is with a device called a “rotorod sampler.” It’s a device equipped with rods that are coated in a sticky substance. The rods spin around and collect pollen for a period of time and then they are inspected for pollen.
The pollen count is then converted into units, such as “grains per cubic meter of air,” and then a simple “high,” “medium,” or “low” rating is given. Since these are hyper-local devices, the levels might not always be accurate for where you are.
How to Check the Pollen Count
Weather services commonly track pollen levels along with the climate. Many of the popular weather apps available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices include some sort of an “Allergy Forecast” section.
For example, the Weather Channel app, which is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android, has a card on the main screen for “Health & Activities.” You can quickly see the current rating for allergy risk in your area and view a forecast for the next 15 days.
For something more focused on allergies and pollen, we recommend an app called “Klarify.” It’s available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It shows current levels and has a forecast. It specifies the types of pollen, along with grass and weeds. You can even create an account and track how you feel.
If you don’t want to install an app just for checking the pollen levels, there are a number of websites that track it as well. You can even add shortcuts on your smartphone home screen. The Weather Channel’s allergy page includes the 15-day forecast and different types of pollen.
Another great website is Pollen.com. You’ll immediately be greeted with a map of the United States. Simply select your area to zoom in and see details about the pollen levels. After you pull up your area, you can see a rating for today, tomorrow, and the next five days.