The Funny Thing About Pollen

Our patients know if they are allergic to pets, because they live around them and know how they feel before and after encountering a pet. Pollen on the other hand is much more tricky. It is hard to see pollen in the air. Every type of pollen is also very different. Some are big and heavy and fall straight to the ground, and other types of pollen are light and are blown by wind across state lines.


To practice allergy care you have to understand pollen. I have yet to meet an allergist who has a background in Aero-Botany (the study of pollen). I also have never met a medical clinic that had an aero botanist on staff or even consults with an aero botanist. This is important because an allergist can tell you if your allergic to pollen and what type, but unless you really understand pollen, you can't tell which pollen is actually causing you discomfort. For example, if you are allergic to trees that grow on Mars, should we treat you for that? The answer is, "Who cares what grows on Mars, I only want to be treated for allergens that cause me discomfort."


We have found a handful of medical doctors that test for over 100 allergens and include trees that only grow in Africa. What a waste of healthcare resources! On the other hand, there is a type of Cedar that only blooms in southern Texas in January. It is the only place that tree blooms at that time of year. The funny thing is you find that pollen all the way up in Toronto, Canada! People in Canada suffer from Cedar allergies in the winter and the allergists have no idea that it is Cedar causing the problem!


How do you tell what is causing your allergies? The first thing is you need to understand your personal health history and your environment. You then need to do an allergy skin test. But to know what allergies you should test for, you need to know what is even happening in your area. The Allergy Butler system tracks botany, chemistry, and even weather patterns to give us the most accurate testing and treatment available.


Pollen counting is done today by collecting pollen on a special type of tape. The counter then puts the tape under a microscope and counts the different types of pollen. The counter then puts his totals into a website to be reported on pollen.com. In Utah, there is only 1 pollen counter. He doesn't count pollen everyday. He does the best he can, but he doesn't get paid to do it. Basically, pollen forecasting is extremely manual and is in the dinosaur ages.


Allergy Butler just signed an agreement to start counting pollen and reporting it every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We use the latest technologies and computer systems to automate our pollen counting. Our systems don't get busy, sick, or take vacations.


There is no pollen tracker this accurate anywhere in Idaho. We are the first allergy clinic to have this ability. We are giving this data away for free from the Pollen Wise app available in the apple and google play stores. We then use this data to update our algorithms so we can identify what exactly is causing your allergies, not just what you are allergic to.


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