To control hay fever symptoms, it is important to monitor pollen counts so you can limit your exposure on days the counts are high. Also, hay fever medications work best if started before allergy symptoms develop. So, if you start taking allergy medications before you first come into contact with allergens, the medication can prevent the release of histamine and other chemicals. As a result, allergy symptoms are prevented from developing or are much less severe.
Pollen counts are different than pollen forecasts. Forecasts are predicted based on the previous year's counts and current weather conditions. The counts are reported for specific plants such as trees, grasses, and weeds and mold spores. Pollen counts are measured with an instrument that is usually situated on a rooftop where it collects spores for a 24-hour period. The instrument is then taken to a lab where the collected material is analyzed for pollen types and concentration.