BOISE, Idaho — For almost four weeks, the Boise Valley Asthma and Allergy Clinic's pollen count has been in the "high" or "extreme" category.
"We tend to get a real spike in the tree pollen around this time of the year kind of April into May. We’re also starting to have a little bit of grass pollen at the same time... it really hits people," said Dr. Michael Keiley.
In order to track the various types of pollen and its levels, BVAAC prepares a small rod for collection. A mixing technician will prepare the rod with a lubricant to attract pollen, attach it to a machine located on their rooftop. Throughout the day, the rod will spin for one minute every 10 minutes collecting samples. The following morning the rod is retrieved and examined under a microscope by a physician.
If you've been feeling symptomatic with allergy-like symptoms, Keiley said one of the hallmarks for allergies often not associated with the common cold, flu, or COVID is itchiness. Irritation and/or itchiness in the nose, ears, or throat can indicate seasonal allergies and you're encouraged to seek medical treatment if over-the-counter medicines offer no relief.
The clinic tracks pollen Tuesday through Friday. On those days at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., you can catch Scott Dorval's allergy report with the latest numbers.