It Was All Yellow: A Guide to Surviving Allergy Season in North Carolina

April showers might bring May flowers, but in North Carolina, April also brings high tree pollen counts, making it a rough time for allergy sufferers.

Let’s dive into the world of pollen, air quality, and how you can take control of your health during allergy season.

Why is Allergy Season Worse?

Climate change is a major culprit. Rising temperatures lead to longer growing seasons, which causes plants to produce more pollen and extend the pollen-dispersal period. This translates to an earlier onset of allergy season and potentially stronger reactions for those with asthma or allergies.

Common allergy triggers in North Carolina include tree pollen (especially high right now!), grass pollen, and weeds like ragweed.

pollen season sign
Stay Informed, Stay Healthy

Knowing your enemy is half the battle! Here are some resources to help you monitor local air quality and pollen counts:

  • This government website provides real-time air quality data for your area.
  • North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ): The DAQ offers daily pollen reports online or via email signup. They classify pollen counts as low, moderate, high, or very high.
  • Local weather forecasts: Most weather reports include pollen forecasts alongside the usual temperature and precipitation information.
Taking Action to Reduce Exposure

Being informed is great, but what can you do to minimize your suffering? Here are some tips:

  • Monitor and manage: If you use a rescue inhaler, keep it handy during periods of poor air quality.
  • Chores: Consider delegating outdoor chores like lawn mowing to avoid direct contact with allergens. Dry your clothes indoors to prevent pollen from sticking to your clothes.
  • Weather: Stay indoors when it’s windy and dry. Rain helps clear pollen from the air, so enjoy the fresh air after a downpour.
  • Timing is key: Avoid spending too much time outdoors in the mornings when pollen counts are typically highest.
  • Seal it up: Close your windows and doors at night or during high pollen periods.
Air Quality Index AQI

Remember, you’re not alone! You can navigate allergy season and reclaim your spring by monitoring air quality and taking simple steps. Talk to your doctor or an allergy specialist for personalized advice on managing your allergies.