Because allergens are transported by wind currents, warm, dry, breezy days tend to have higher pollen counts than cool, wet, windless ones. And while no study has shown the best time of day for the least pollen exposure, early morning right after sunrise is probably the sneeze-free zone, says Dr. Harold Nelson, of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.
Listen to the local pollen count, even though samples are taken 24 hours before reported. If the count is down, you may still have problems. That's because your nose and eyes become increasingly hyperreactive after encountering pollen day after day during allergy season, so eventually it doesn't take much to get a reaction.
Lawns harbor mold and pollen from trees and the surrounding environment, so have someone else mow your lawn. If you can't find someone to tackle this chore for you, wear a mask over your nose and mouth. A regular dust mask won't do much because it doesn't block the tiny offensive particles. Dr. James Thompson, director of the Botanical Technical Services at Bayer Corporation, recommends finding a mask that excludes particles sized from 12 to 25 microns. Also, what you plant in the yard can affect your symptoms. Oak, ash, birch, and olive trees produce massive amounts of pollen, says Dr. Pulver.
Continued on page 4: Fighting Symptoms