Pollen count to jump this weekend

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It's that time of year: runny noses, scratchy throats, and watery eyes. Allergy season is here. After two days of rain, Easter Sunday and the following week could be rough for allergy sufferers. According to First Warning Meteorologist Ross Ellet, the pollen forecast is expected to be low Friday and Saturday. But on Sunday, the pollen count will sky rocket.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Here are a couple of tips from Accuweather to help you get through allergy season:

Avoid being outside early in the morning.
Stay inside during the early morning hours. Right now, lots of trees and plants are blooming in Northwest Ohio. Between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. is when pollen counts reach their peak. So you might want to push back that morning run. In case you're wondering, the best time to go outside is after a heavy rain. That's because the rain washes the pollen out of the air.

Keep indoor air clean.
Though it might be tempting, don't open up the windows in your car or home. If you do, you're inviting all the pollen outside into your own home. You can also do some things to filter your air. It may be a little early for air conditioning, but turning on the AC will help filter pollen and dust out of the air inside your home. If you don't want to turn your air on yet, you can turn on your furnace fan. That will also help take the pollen out of the air.

Avoid certain foods.
Some people with severe pollen allergies might have trouble eating specific foods. Raw or fresh fruit can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms might include an itchy or tingly mouth, or even swelling around the mouth. Many fruits and vegetables contain proteins similar to plant pollen. Your immune system can mistake those proteins for the pollen you're actually allergic to. The condition is called Oral Allergy Syndrome and often times it worsens during peak allergy seasons. To avoid it, you can eat canned fruits or vegetables or peel the skin on the produce. You can learn more about Oral Allergy Syndrome here.

Carry an allergy emergency kit.
Always be prepared for an allergy emergency. You can gather over-the-counter items to take with you wherever you go - similar to a first aid kit. antihistamines, eye drops, nasal spray and decongestants will help make this season much more bearable.