High Pollen Count Means Bad Allergies This Season

"Stay in air conditioning," Fineman said. "Make sure they wash their hair before they go to sleep at night, because pollen can collect there. ... You don't want to leave the clothes you wore outside in the park in your bedroom. And also, we do recommend you leave your shoes either outside, you know, or inside the door and take them off when you come inside, so you don't trek the pollen throughout your house."

According to Dr. Hugh Sampson, professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, plants release the most pollen in the morning. It's best to keep the windows closed as you're getting ready for the day, he said.

"[Allergy sufferers] should use air conditioning in an attempt to keep the pollen counts in their home as low as possible," said Sampson.

There are also other treatment options. Nasal sprays and antihistamines can help depending on the allergies and the time of day. But doctors say patients should start using them early and continue using them throughout the pollen season.

Taking the right allergy medication a few weeks before the anticipated allergy season can prevent much of the misery once the season hits its peak, said Dr. Michael Foggs, chief of allergy and immunology at the Advocate Medical Group in Chicago. But don't pass on the medication on days when the pollen subsides.

"The advice to start early may be too late for tree pollen season, but grass pollen season is still a few weeks off," said Sampson.

Doctors say it's also important for patients to know what particular allergens cause the most irritation. On certain days, when the pollen count is low, there still could be extremely high amounts of oak in the air, for example.

In most parts of the country, this year's pollen season is so concentrated, even a short day of rain might not be enough to clear the air for long.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Campbell said.

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