Know Your Numbers
Though pollen levels vary over the course of the day, a pollen count (the measure of pollen levels in a given area over the preceding 24 hours) can tip you off when it's particularly hazardous outside.
Many people start having trouble when the count reaches the 20 to 100 grains per cubic meter range. For the pollen count in your area, as well as helpful tips on allergies, call (800) 9-POLLEN (976-5536) between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm EST.
(Mold counts aren't as reliable a guide, because mold spore levels are directly related to weather and will vary more widely over the course of a day than pollen levels do.)
Time of Day When Levels Are Highest Pollen: 5:00 to 10:00 am and early evening Mold: varies with type of mold; some release spores during the day; others, at night
Time of Day When Levels Are Lowest Pollen: mid to late afternoon Mold: varies with type of mold
Weather When Levels Are Highest Pollen: warm, dry, breezy Mold: warm and humid, particularly after a rain shower
Weather When Levels Are Lowest Pollen: chilly, wet* Mold: cold and rainy
Places When Levels Are Highest Pollen: parks with lots of trees and grass; meadows Mold: damp, shady spots with fallen leaves and rotting vegetation; freshly cut lawns, fields, and pastures
Places Where Levels Are Lowest Pollen: indoor spaces with filtered air Mold: dry, cool, well-ventilated areas
*Note: heavy rain can temporarily wash pollen out of the air.