Pollen Count

Posted by R. Power on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
We have had gorgeous weekends here in Atlanta recently. Everyone and their kids and dogs have been out celebrating the Dogwood Festival and spending time at Piedmont Park. In between all this good weather have been bouts of heavy rain and gusty wind. A couple days of this was not the best days for my roommate and my coworker, both who complained how sick they were feeling with congestion, fatigue and achy limbs.

First I thought, uh-oh, I don’t want to catch that! But then I realized, it could be allergies. But wouldn’t the rain settle the pollen that’s making my friends congested? Not necessarily, quite the contraire mademoiselle (I’m learning French. Je suis Françoise d’apprentissage) . Heavy rain can spread pollen particles by fracturing them, making them more numerous and lighter in weight. When the rain is gone, these now slimmer and trimmer pollen particles become airborne once again, impacting your allergies worse than before the rain.

How are you going to enjoy the weather and control your pollen/seasonal allergies? It’s the time of the year to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and dresses! Here are few ways to have the best of both worlds.
    Pets, Large and Small, Can All Carry In Pollen and Other Allergens
  • Safe Guard Window Filters - These wonderful window filters keep out dust, pollen, and other allergens, so you can breathe fresher, purer air all year long. These filters eliminate 92% of ragweed pollen and capture a variety of allergens and irritants that can wreak havoc on seasonal allergy sufferers. These window filters are available in 2 sizes with extensions to fit almost any width of window. If you already have some, you can now replace your window filter cartridges in them with little more than a phillips screwdriver and about five minutes of your time!
  • Check the Allergy Forecast - Check the pollen count in your area. Just like a weather forecast you can check the pollen index levels, as well as what trees are causing the most pollen. This can help you do a little planning ahead of time for outdoor activities.
  • Take Off Your Shoes - I think leaving your shoes at the door is generally a better way to keep the carpet cleaner, but during allergy season you can tracks massive amounts of pollen throughout your home. Ever notice yellow shoe prints? If nothing else, you can always slip on a pair of sandals.
  • Don't Forget Your Pets! - Our furry friends can also track in pollen and other allergens, but unlike us, they likely don't have shoes to take off. With pets one of the easiest ways to keep them clean between baths and remove pollen, dirt and other debris with with pet wipes. These thick, handy wipes remove allergens and other debris, and if you want to take things a step further, try AllerPet. This safe, non-toxic cleanser is simply applied with a damp cloth between baths. The formula denatures allergens like pollen and dander, and is even perfectly safe for puppies and kittens.
  • Scrub-A-Dub-Dub! Wash Allergens Down the Tub!Change Your Clothes - When you come home, changing your clothes will help keep your allergic reactions down by preventing pollen from spreading throughout the house.
  • Showers - Taking a shower at night will help rinse off any pollen that you’ve collected during the day. This will also keep pollen out of your sheets so you won’t be waking up to congestion and water eyes.
So off you go! Go enjoy the warm weather, wear your sunglasses and carry a hanky or some kleenex just in case you start to sneeze.

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, April 14, 2014
It’s been a beautiful transition this year from a cold winter to a blooming spring. For some, it’s exciting and relieving to ditch the scarves and coats and make room for sunglasses and sandals. For others it’s a forecast of congestion, runny noses and sneezing. lists the worst cities in the US for allergies based on the pollen counts, number of OTC/prescription medications per patient, and number of board-certified allergists per patient. The most current list below:
  1. Louisville, KY
  2. Flowering Dogwoods - NOT On The List, But Hey, They're Easy On The Eyes!Memphis, TN
  3. Baton Rouge, LA
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Jackson, MS
  6. Chattanooga, TN
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Richmond, VA
  9. Birmingham, AL
  10. McAllen, TX
Don't see your city on this list? Don't worry, the culprits behind early spring allergies are often trees. Here's the list of the "usual suspects" for this time of year.
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Box elder
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Mulberry
  • Oak
  • Pecan
  • Willow
While you can’t stay indoors all season long, taking preventative steps such as avoiding outdoor activities on high pollen days and purchasing OTC medicines can subdue allergic reactions. If yard work must be done, invest in a mask that filters particles such as tree and weed pollen, dust, grass pollen and pet dander. Similar to what a neti pot does, taking showers can help decongest your sinuses while washing away pollen and other allergens that have cling on. If you don’t have time to shower, then a change of clothes will do.
Try to protect yourself, but enjoy this spring’s blooms while you can!

Author: R. Power

100,000 Tulips - Now in Bloom at Cheekwood Botanical Garden - Nashville, TN

Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Just as an update on a couple recent posts....

Vogmask Pink Rose Coming Soon!First, look for the addition of the Vogmasks to our mask line up. We're a couple weeks away, but this will also include a product review by Achoo staffers. We had been leaning towards giving these masks a trial run, and the positive feedback to this post just gave that effort a little more momentum. The feedback is very appreciated! Besides, that's why we're here - to provide the products you want!

Second, the pollen count yesterday in Atlanta was 8164, and that smashed the old record... until this morning. The current count from this morning is 9369, and judging by the amount of sniffling sneezers, it's not going unnoticed.

The margin of difference between the last week's record and the new one, as it relates to Mr. Chestnut? 106. I think your record is safe for now Joey.

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, March 19, 2012
Microscopic Pollen GrainsAs we settle in to the last official day of winter (who knew, right?), temperatures across the south have been hovering around record highs - Think 80-85 degrees. Like the high temperatures, pollen counts are also setting records, and for many allergy and asthma sufferers, all of these records mean miserable weeks ahead.

Don't Let Record Pollen Counts Get You DownThis morning, the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic recored a pollen count of 8164. This leaves the old record, set in 1999, in the dust - figuratively in that the old record was 6013, and literally, like the greenish/yellow cloud of pollen that is currently blanketing the city.*

From sore throats and sneezing to pain in the ears and congestion, allergy symptoms can truly make a person miserable. To combat some of the record setting pollen and allergy symptoms, there are a variety of things you can do to reduce exposure.

First, limit your time outdoors while the pollen is the heaviest. If you must spend significant time outdoors, consider wearing at least an inexpensive dust mask if not a true allergy mask. Second, keep up with the cleaning and vacuuming. Each time your, a family member or pet comes back in, pollen is hitching a ride into your home, so it's important to keep these allergens from spreading throughout the house.

For pets, pet wipes are handy to have in that you can quickly wipe your pet's coat and paws as they enter the house. They are a great way to prevent the pollen paw prints all over your floors. Family members and guests should be encouraged to take their shoes off at the door.

Opening the windows is something many people enjoy, particularly during temperate spring months. This can mean letting in a lot of pollen during peak months, but to combat this, try a window filter. While they do not eliminate all particles, they allows some fresh air in while trapping most of the pollen in the outdoor air.

Lastly, irrigate. Proper use of a neti pot or nasal irrigator can not only clear away pollen and allergens trapped in your sinuses, but they can also rinse away congestion. And nasal irrigation is not just to relieve symptoms in your nose and sinuses. Nasal irrigation can also sometimes help relieve pain in the ears that is caused by sinus pressure.

With warm, dry weather driving pollen counts up, St. Patrick's Day isn't the only reason you'll see green. Just remember a few simple steps, and don't let seasonal allergies get you down.

Pollen Record Falls Faster than 93 Hot Dogs*The old pollen count record not only fell, but was crushed by over 30%. To put this into perspective.... For someone to beat Joey Chesnut's record (68) at the Nathan's hot dog eating contest by the same margin, they'd have to consume 93 hot dogs!

Posted by Shifrah on Friday, January 13, 2012

Knowing that you can do something to take charge of your allergy symptoms is empowering, especially if you've resigned yourself to the sniffling, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes as facts of your life. Butallergen avoidance and environmental control can really change an allergy sufferer's life.

When implementing an allergen avoidance routine, your first steps should include using basic environmental control products, such as air purifiers in the bedroom and allergy relief bedding. In addition, practicing the following simple daily habits will help keep allergy symptoms in check so that you can live every day breathing better:

  • Cleanse nasal passages with a neti pot. Most allergens find their way into your body through your nose. Flushing allergens out of your nasal passages gets rid of many allergens before they can set the allergic response in motion. Keep a neti pot, and safe water, within arm's reach in the bathroom and make a habit of using it every morning and any time allergens are especially pervasive, such as after dusting or when pollen counts are high.

  • Prevent dry skin by moisturizing. Slathering lotion on dry skin doesn't do as much as sealing in moisture by applying lotion after washing hands or showering. Overly dry skin can lead to eczema flare-ups, and a compromised skin barrier allows allergens to enter your body through the skin. Be sure that your lotion itself doesn't cause problems; choose moisturizers without fragrances and other irritating chemicals.

  • Implement a shoes-off policy. It's astounding the amount of chemicals and allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and more that we track into our homes on our shoes. Make it a practice to take shoes off at the door, and find a way to politely suggest that guests do the same.

  • Keep pets out of the bedroom and off of upholstered furniture. For most pet owners, Fido and Fluffy are part of the family. But to reduce allergy symptoms, it's important to keep pets out of the bedroom and off of upholstered furniture in order to reduce the amount of lingering pet dander. Provide designated, comfortable areas for pets to relax and train them to stay away from allergen magnets. For more on pet allergies, see Surviving Pet Allergies

  • Check pollen counts. Knowing what you are allergic to and when and where those allergens are abundant is the core concept of all allergen avoidance measures. Especially during spring and fall, check pollen counts and try to stay indoors when pollen counts are high. Note that particular times of day can be higher than others.

  • Choose allergy-fighting foods. With growing evidence that nutrition plays a vital role both in the formation of allergies and in how susceptible we are to the effects of allergens, learning about foods that help allergies and incorporating them into your diet is another easy way to minimize allergy attacks.

Posted by Shifrah on Friday, November 11, 2011

Do you use your phone for everything from checking email and planning family menus to entertaining the children while clothes shopping and checking sports stats – oh and making phone calls? If so, then it's high time to put your phone to good use for helping you breathe better with allergies. Following are some useful allergy apps:

  • Check out pollen counts and pollen forecasts with the Allergy Allert app from

  • Food journal app Food Allergy Detective helps keep track of what you eat and the symptoms you experience to pinpoint hidden food allergies.

  • Allergy Eats keeps you abreast of local restaurants' allergy-friendliness based on peer ratings.

  • Allergy Mate provides a database of chemical triggers, symptoms, research, advice, and more to keep you informed.

  • Food Tester allows you to scan bar codes of products in the grocery store to see if they contain allergens.

  • Pollen Forecast from Clarityn displays 3D pollen spores in the user's environment and also provides pollen forecasts.

Posted by Shifrah on Saturday, May 14, 2011
If you feel like your allergies have been worse than ever this year, it could be because "2011 could end up being the most extreme allergy season on record," as reported in this video Worst Allergy Season Ever? by Fox News.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the worst cities for allergies this year are Tulsa, OK; Knoxville, TN; Memphis, TN; Richmond, VA; and Chattanooga, TN.

Medical director for Allergy and Asthma Care of New York Dr. Clifford Bassett explains why this year has been so bad. One reason is the heavy rains which cause trees to produce a lot of pollen. In addition, tree and grass pollen are being released together – and it will stick around for several more weeks.

Dr. Bassett recommends seeing an allergist to get tested so that treatment can be customized to each individual's allergies. Testing takes about ten or fifteen minutes and leads to the development of a very directed plan.

He also shares the following allergy tips:

  • Avoid triggers – Triggers are not only things in the air like pollen and mold, but 50 percent of people with seasonal allergies may actually get worse by eating fresh fruits like apples, pears, hazelnuts, almonds, and kiwis. Oral allergy syndrome and scratchy throat worsen allergy symptoms.

  • Wear sunglasses to help keep pollen out of your eyes.

  • Wash your hair in the evening or at night before going to bed.

Posted by Shifrah on Friday, March 18, 2011
Enjoy spring with a minimum of allergies by following these simple tips.If you're like me, it's almost impossible to resist going outside to enjoy the beauty and soft warmth of spring – even if you pay for it later with itchy eyes, sneezing, and sniffles. Following are some easy ways to keep the allergies to a minimum, even when you venture outside for fun:

• Time your excursions. Pollen counts are usually highest in the morning, from the time the dew dries until late morning. If you can, stay indoors during this time.

• Watch the weather. Cloudy, humid days with little wind are the least allergen-ridden. Conversely, dry, sunny days with a breeze make pollen light and airborne; you'll be exposed to much more pollen when you're out during this kind of weather.

• When you come inside from a nice spring walk, take off your shoes to avoid tracking the pollen all over your house.

Take a shower to rinse off allergens that get stuck on your skin and hair. This way, you won't be inhaling allergens for hours after your time outside.

Use a neti pot every morning and after your walks to keep your nasal passages clean of allergies.

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