Are You Ready for Pollen Season?
It’s still cold and snowy in many parts of the country but spring allergy season is right around the corner. In fact, pollen levels are already starting to spike in places like Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Make sure you’re prepared for pollen season when it starts where you live.
Pollen allergies are the most common outdoor allergies, affecting about 50 million Americans every year. Pollen is very difficult to avoid because it is released in highly concentrated amounts and spreads easily through the air. To make matters worse, climate change seems to be the reason that pollen season has been starting earlier and lasting longer over the past several years.
While pollen cycles are intense, they’re also limited in duration. Trees are the first to pollinate each spring and the highest counts should start to taper off after a few weeks. Grass pollinates next, followed by ragweed so depending on your particular allergies, you may find relief later in the summer.
If you know you’re allergic to tree pollen or your allergy symptoms typically flare up in early spring, you’ll want to take precautions to ensure you are ready for the first wave of pollen.
First, do what you can to seal your home from pollen. It may be tempting to open them once the weather warms up but keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Start leaving your shoes at the door in a contained area and change clothes as soon as you get home. A shower can also help rinse away pollen from your hair and skin to prevent bringing it into the house with you.
Check the pollen forecast so you can be prepared for allergy conditions outside. Avoid spending time outdoors for these few weeks, especially when you’re experiencing symptoms or pollen counts are high.
You’ll also want to start taking your prescription or over-the-counter medication now, before your symptoms start acting up. Allergy medications are most effective after they’ve built up in your immune system over time. This is also a great time to schedule a visit with your allergist to update your allergy action plan or medication and to address any other concerns.
By taking active steps to prevent allergy symptoms before they start, you can breathe easier this spring and enjoy the season.
Kevin Arnold writes about allergies and asthma, travel and healthy living. For more tips and information, check out all of his posts at www.blog.pureroom.com.