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Explaining Pollen Counts and Factors That Affect Them

  • Post category:Allergies

For some the beauty of spring brings on the “oohs” and “aahs.” But for others it brings on the “ah-choos!” Understanding pollen counts and factors that affect them can help allergy sufferers plan better!

What is pollen count?

Pollen counts measure the average number of pollen grains in a cubic meter of air. The count is collected using greased silicone rods to collect the particles. Typically, the count is tallied after a 24-hour period.

In general, the levels are based on a 0-12 range scale. The scale is broken down into low, low-medium, medium, high-medium and high.

For example, a low pollen count would be somewhere between 0 and 2.4 whereas a high pollen count is anywhere from 9.7 to 12.

What affects pollen count?

Pollen counts change from season to season, day to day and even within a day, depending on other factors. When it comes to pollen counts and factors that affect them, there are four main categories.


First of all, certain seasons are prone to higher pollen counts. Spring, for instance, is known for high pollen counts as trees began to bloom. Winter, on the other hand, tends to be cold and wet. Therefore, pollen counts are generally low.

Time of day

Secondly, the time of day affects pollen counts. Typically, pollen counts peak midday while remaining lower in the early morning and late afternoon hours.


Another factor is the temperature. Hot, dry temperatures are ideal for higher pollen counts.


Finally, the weather also affects the pollen count. When it is a dry, windy day, you can expect the light pollen grains to travel far and wide.

In fact, you may even be able to see pollen dust traveling through the air. But when it is humid and rainy, pollen counts tend to be lower because the pollen itself is moist and stationary.

Other pollen notes

Pollen count and pollen forecast are not the same thing. A count is what it sounds like—an actual count—while a pollen forecast is merely a prediction. If your seasonal allergies affect your day-to-day routine, consider checking daily pollen counts in your area.

You can access nearby cities or your city’s pollen count online thanks to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology’s National Allergy Bureau. You can sign up for a free NAB account. It will alert you when pollen levels change and much more.

You can also check out our blog about spring allergy triggers and things you can do to help lessen your symptoms!


Are you asking yourself what trees, grasses and weeds could be responsible for sending you into a sneezing fit with itchy watery eyes? Stop guessing! We can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations. Meanwhile, keep reading our blogs for more ENT news and health tips!