Although spring officially doesn’t start until March 20, allergy season is already in full bloom.
According to The Weather Channel, pollen count in Gig Harbor is forecasted to be “medium” on Thursday, March 7, and "high" on Friday.
According to Pollen.com, allergy levels are measured on a scale of 0 to 12, with 9.7 to 12 considered a "high" level. The projected level on Thursday is 7.2, and Friday is expected to spike to 9.0. (Tuesday’s pollen level was measured at 5.2.)
Seasonal allergy symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, an itchy throat and a runny nose.
The Weather Channel and Pollen.com say Alder, Cedar, Juniper and Elm trees are the likely culprits for the high pollen count.
Thankfully, pollen levels for Wednesday is expected to drop due to higher humidity, weak winds and expected precipitation in the morning, afternoon and evening which tends to wash pollen out of the air, Pollen.com reports.
So, what can you do other than sequestering yourself in your bedroom while blasting your HEPA air cleaner?
- Keep your windows and outside doors closed as much as possible.
- Use air-conditioning to cool your home. Avoid using window and attic fans during pollen season.
- Keep your car windows rolled up when driving; use air-conditioning.
- Consider vacationing to a place where pollen is low, such as the beach.
- Check pollen counts before planning outdoor activities. Avoid being outdoors in the early morning when pollen is most prevalent.
- If you have to be outdoors, wear sunglasses to minimize pollen in your eyes. Remove your clothing when you come indoors; shower and wash your hair.
- Dry clothing and bedding in the dryer; do not hang outdoors to dry.
- Keep pets that spend time outdoors out of your bedroom because they can bring in pollen on their fur.
- Don't rake leaves during pollen season.
- Have someone else mow your grass, if possible. If you must mow your lawn, wear a mask.
- When landscaping your yard, choose trees that do not aggravate allergies and ground covers that don't produce much pollen. Some good choices include crape myrtle, dogwood, palm, pear, redwood and redbud trees, and Irish moss, bunch and dichondra.
If efforts to avoid pollen are not enough to relieve your pollen allergy symptoms, you may need medication, according to WebMD.com.
You can also check out our list of local pharmacies and drugstores to figure out where to pick up any allergy medicine, should you need it.