So, for those of us in Buffalo, NY with pollen allergies, is the rain helpful or hurtful? We have good news and bad news. As it turns out, there are two factors that affect the pollen count—the amount of pollen in the air and the size of the particles. Ironically, rain can dramatically affect the pollen count, but in ways that are rather unpredictable.
Rain Can Be Good for Pollen Allergies:
You would assume that a huge thunderstorm would spell trouble for anyone with a pollen allergy. After all, rain helps plants grow, and healthy plants produce a lot of pollen—or so you might have thought. Actually, the opposite is true. You' re far more likely to suffer allergy attacks when the weather is dry than when the weather is wet. Plus, rainstorms wash pollen away, and the humidity that follows the storm weighs pollen down keeping it from flying around. By contrast, a dry spell means trouble for anyone with a pollen allergy. During a dry season, trees and flowers release a great deal of pollen, and because there’s less moisture in the air, the wind can easily pick up and blow around the grains of pollen.
So, Rain Is Always a Good Thing?
Not so fast. While a light drizzle may help those with pollen allergies, a heavy storm can break up pollen grains into smaller particles. These smaller particles travel more easily through the air causing the pollen count to skyrocket when the storm passes. Moreover, it’s disastrous for anyone with mold or dust-mite allergies. Mold loves damp conditions, and dust-mites reproduce much more quickly when it’s humid. If you suffer from mold or dust-mite allergies, you’ll want to make sure to open the windows during the winter and spring months to air out the house as much as you can.