What do you use to predict “bad allergy days?”

My app on my phone buzzes almost every morning to let me know that, why, yes, we WILL be having another high pollen day, but that doesn't always tell me which pollens are going to be the worst trouble makers of the day.

For that, I like , a website that will tell me based on my zip code what pollens are in full force. 

It really helped us figure out which days DD could go out and play when she was little and which days she needed to find an indoor activity. 

But I may be missing a valuable resource … so share your tips and tricks!

What do you use to help you track and predict those "bad allergy days?" 


Comments 17

  • tlb2002

    It's not so much pollen related but I used to get . Our allergies do seem a bit worse on yellow and orange days (and asthma too, of course!).



  • Kathy P

    I've tried some apps, but don't really use one right now. I usually just check to see what the predominant pollens are. Right now, it's olive/privet which I'm highly allergic to, so I'm miserable.

    I have installed an air quality app on my smartwatch – but I can't get it have the right location! It's not quite my home location.  So, not as useful as I'd like!

  • Nonso

    Still studying my triggers, cos all these started some 3 years back.but one of them is dust. But don't know yet about food. Then cigarette smoke. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, Nonso! Dust mites are the trigger that keep on giving, because it's a year-round kind of thing.

    What strategies do you use to avoid dust mites? 

    And cigarette smoke is a bad one for me, too — even if it's just on someone's clothes. Do you have smokers in your immediate or extended family?

  • Jen

    @Nonso - Welcome to AAFA.  Glad to have you here.  Are you working with an allergist to figure out triggers?

  • K8sMom2002

    @tlb2002, what all goes into formulating and calculating the air quality? It makes sense that on worse air quality days, your lungs would struggle more, especially if you are like me and have issues with things like car exhaust. I'm glad I live out in the country!

    @Nonso, here's and some strategies for helping to reduce their effect.

  • tlb2002

    It's a measure of pollutants (particles) in the air, as I understand it. It includes the obvious, like air pollution. But I think it can also include ozone (which can increase in hotter weather, hence, higher air quality ratings in the summer), pollen and dust. When I lived in Chattanooga, orange action days were common in the summer if it had been dry and really hot. Also, pollen is TREMENDOUS there, so if ragweed is blooming too, I think it played a factor in the rating. My allergist there told me that the pollen counts there get so high that even if you don't have pollen allergies, you will still feel the effects of the pollen.

    Don't quote me on this, though. LOL. But I believe at least for parts of the Southeast, several factors go into figuring air quality. I lived out in the country too and was still greatly affected on yellow and orange days. 

    In the summer, Chattanooga often has billboards by the interstate during yellow and orange action alerts so you know to take caution. 

  • Pljohns

    We live in Birmingham and the air quality is terrible-way too many steel plants and coal mines.  The air is bad on a good day and we too, have several days of yellow/orange alerts to avoid outside activity.  Those day, even though I don't have allergies, the air is so heavy and stinks so bad with fumes, I have no choice but to stay in.  Now that I have a really good mask, I might at least be able to walk during lunch if it's not too hot.

  • Kathy P

    The EPA has a color coding system as part of their AirNow program. There are widgets and apps you can get or have it emailed to you.

    The EPA calculates the Air Quality Index (AQI) based on five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act:

    • ground-level ozone
    • particle pollution (also known as particulate matter)
    • carbon monoxide
    • sulfur dioxide
    • nitrogen dioxide
  • K8sMom2002

    Tanya and Kathy P, thanks for the lesson and the links! I know Atlanta news stations often have an air quality segment because the air in Atlanta can get bad. But down here in South Georgia, we don't have a local station that directly covers our area.

    Lynn, yikes on the air quality in Birmingham … we'd actually been considering UAB as a college for DD. But now I'm not so sure, not with her asthma. However, in recent years, she's really improved so maybe it wouldn't be as much of an issue?

    I guess it's definitely something to bring up with her allergist — I can research the number of "yellow" and "orange" days in the previous year and have that for her allergist to look at a little closer to her senior year. Of course, her allergist wants her to go to the school that's associated with THAT hospital.  

  • Pljohns

    There are only a few days a year-in the summer-that we have REALLY bad air from the heat and smog but there is always a "gloom" over the place from the steel plants and the coal mines.  Our DS#1 is going to UAB in the fall!

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, wow, that's quite an accomplishment, PLJohns! UAB is not an easy school for the average kiddo to get into! Congrats! It's a school that's on DD's wishlist (along with Auburn … I know, that's probably NOT a good word to say to anyone who will have a UAB freshman!)

    It's good to know that the air quality isn't always an issue — we'll keep it on our list!

    I'm so used to getting pollen alerts on my phone that I can't remember a day when I didn't get one!

  • Pljohns

    It's not a bad word at all-I'm the sole AL fan in the house-DH and the boys bleed orange and blue.  I will pull for Auburn as long as they aren't playing AL!!!  We're proud of DS and for the first time ever, he is excited about school.  Good luck to your DD!  

  • K8sMom2002

    on the divided household, and you are extremely generous to pull for the other team in a head-to-head match. 

    We've used the pollen alerts today to ban DD to inside only, which is no great trial for her as hot as it is. She's really, really congested with allergies from being outside so much during peak grass pollen season. And wouldn't you know? She's got another camp coming up next week. 

  • Jen

    Cynthia – What do you have planned to get her through camp while keeping the congestion in check?

  • Megan Roberts

    Today's allergy alert from

    And a little more zoomed in:

    I'm monitoring it more closely this time of year for ragweed, which for some reason has not been triggering reactions for me too badly for me yet.  After last fall and spring, which were the two worst allergy seasons of my adult life, I am happy to get a bit of a break — and hope it continues!  

    How is everyone else doing with their fall allergy triggers so far?