Thanks to the more mild winter we just experienced, we’re also seeing an earlier spring than on average. While this means blooming trees, flowers and grass turning green, it also means allergy season is striking earlier for thousands of people in our area.
The most common seasonal allergy culprits are pollen; namely tree, ragweed or grass pollen. Ragweed pollen season usually peaks later in the year, typically in the late summer.
But tree and grass pollen season is in full swing as buds sprout, grass greens up and the spring winds blow the pollen everywhere. Here are some tips for this allergy season:
Grass pollen levels are largely affected by temperature, time of day and rain. When the weather is dry and windy, grass pollen levels are likely to be higher. Rain tends to keep grass pollen levels down. If you suffer from grass pollen allergies, avoid mowing the lawn or working in it directly after it has been mowed. Avoid the outdoors in the early morning hours, when pollen levels are highest.
Trees are one of the earliest pollen producers. Trees can aggravate your allergy whether or not they are on your property, since trees release large amounts of pollen that can be distributed miles away from the original source. If you buy trees for your yard, look for species that do not aggravate allergies.
As with grass pollen, avoid the outdoors from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., when pollen levels are likely to be higher. Also, keep the windows in your home and car closed as much as possible. If the weather is warm, use the air conditioner in your home instead of using fans that will blow the pollen into the air. Dry your clothes in an automatic dryer rather than hanging them outside, especially in the wind.
Antihistamines and decongestants in the form of eye drops, nasal sprays, liquids, and pills are all effective methods of managing allergy symptoms. Additionally, many over-the-counter medications can relieve allergy symptoms. However, you should consult with a physician before you begin taking any new medications.
Don’t let allergies slow you down this year. If you or someone you love suffers from seasonal allergies, or has any questions about the treatment options available for relief, get help from one of our family practice physicians by calling 785-4100.