While some people look forward to spring and the beautiful flowers that bloom, for others this is a time of extreme discomfort triggered by pollen allergies. Pollen is probably one of the most difficult allergies to fight as it is invisible and is literally present everywhere. Sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, congestion and watery eyes are the most common symptoms of a pollen allergy. However, you can minimise your troubles by following a few simple steps.
- Keep an eye on the pollen count: Not every day has the same amount of pollen in the air. Pollen density is also affected by the time of the day. Pollen count refers to the amount of pollen present in the air during a specific time period. You can find out the pollen count of your area online or through a number of apps. Once you know the pollen count. You can plan your day accordingly and step out or stay in.
- Plan your time spent outdoors wisely: It isn’t always possible to stay indoors even if you know the pollen count is high. However, you can still plan your time so as to not be outdoors at peak pollen times. 5am to 9am are the worst times to step out as this is when most plants pollinate. Hence avoid stepping out during this time. Windy days can also worsen the situation by spreading pollen around. If you must go for a jog early morning, avoid thoroughfares and gardens and instead pick a route around residential streets.
- Protect yourself: Face masks may not look very good but can help reduce the amount of pollen being inhaled. If you find yourself sneezing a lot during pollen season, consider investing in a painter’s mask that can filter the air being inhaled and exhaled. If you are stepping out to do yard work or know that you’re going to spend a lot of time in heavy traffic areas, take your antiallergenic medication before you step out instead of waiting for an allergic reaction to begin.
- Have plenty of showers: Try making it a habit to have a shower and changing your clothes as soon as you come home. This prevents the outdoor pollen from circulating in your home. Follow this routine even if you’ve simply been gardening outdoors. While showering, do not forget your hair. If you do not want to shampoo it every day, simply rinse it out to get rid of all the pollen. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.