CINCINNATI - Are you sneezing, coughing, or just plain miserable? Even though it's winter, it could be allergies.
Indoor mold is common this time of year, but now even the trees are starting to pollinate.
“So February, right around now, is when a lot of trees common in southwest Ohio naturally start pollinating, so people who suffer from allergies may start having some reaction,” said Megan Hummel, PR coordinator for the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency.
The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency began testing this week for tree pollen, primarily from cedar and elm trees.
“What we do is, Monday through Friday, we take a glass rod and it goes up on a roto-rod sampler, which spins one minute out of every 10 minutes for 24 hours and it collects all of the airborne allergens, pollens, and mold,” Hummel said.
In the morning, they collect the rod, stain it and look at it through a microscope. The predominant pollens and mold for our area are then identified.
If you have problems with allergies, or something like asthma, it's important to know the air quality report and avoid outdoor activities on bad days, especially from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the morning when pollen levels are at their highest.
You can see all the information the agency gathers on their website at http://www.southwestohioair.org/air-quality-data/pollen-mold.html or find out what's in the air by calling them at 513-946-7753.
You can request a "Living with Allergies" brochure by calling 513-946-7747.
But if you have to head outside, Hummel says to come inside after, launder your clothes and shower. That will help keep the allergens from entering your home.
And the pollen and mold counts will only get worse as we head toward spring. Tree pollens could increase with the warmer weather over the next few days especially, so be sure to arm yourself by taking your allergy medicine or talking with your doctor.
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