Spring is on its way! While the blooms and new colors of the season are exciting, the sneezes, runny noses, and headaches can make for a bad day. The root cause for that distress is one we know all too well – pollen.
You know pollen. It’s the yellow dust storm that rains down on us each spring. However, pollen is a necessary evil. It’s a critical ingredient in plant reproduction and crucial for life itself. For some though, it’s the worst—just the worst. More than 24 million people in the United States deal with pollen allergies every spring. We would like to offer some tips for surviving springtime allergies.
1: Know your allergies.
When we say pollen, we’re mostly talking about tree pollen. This is the most recognizable type of pollen and the primary culprit of allergy attacks in the spring. The first step to dealing with allergies is knowing what you’re allergic to and understanding how it affects you.
2: Learn how to check pollen counts.
Pollen count measures the amount of pollen present in the air per cubic meter, either in the unit of grams or individual grains. It’s usually found on your local tv station’s daily weather report or on any website that includes a weather report.
3: Know your climate.
The allergy forecasts for spring are influenced by both the pre-spring weather patterns and the region in which you live. You can typically read allergy forecasts in the same place you would find pollen counts. Many weather-related factors are considered, but key ones to watch are rainfall and temperature. Heavy rainfall in late winter can stimulate pollen growth. In addition, tree pollen may get washed away by spring rains, but those rains will stimulate grass growth in the summer, leading to higher levels of grass pollen.
Step 4: Be prepared.
It’s smart to have some allergy medicine on hand during allergy season. In fact, most allergy medicines can be purchased over the counter and don’t cost more than about $15. Having something with you to help deal with the symptoms that will inevitably arise is always part of a good plan for dealing with pollen.
The most recommended medication is antihistamines. Your body produces histamines in response to interaction with allergens. They are the cause of the symptoms that are synonymous with allergic reactions. Antihistamines, as the name self-defines, block or reduce these substances, slow down, and alleviate (to some degree) symptoms that make allergies so intolerable.
As always, we recommend consulting with your physician before making any changes to your medication!
Step 5: If it comes to it, stay inside.
Your best bet is to just avoid going outside. When pollen counts are exceedingly high, and your allergic reactions are severe, just stay inside. It’s awful to be inside during the first beautiful days of the year, but being inside is always better than sneezing, coughing, and rubbing your eyes all day. And be sure to replace your air filters regularly.