Spring Allergies Have Arrived



Spring is in the air, warm weather is here for many and for others its' just a few short weeks away. The down side is the airborne allergen levels are going through the roof.

Many people think of Mid March and April as the beginning of spring. For Allergy sufferers April truly is the cruelest month for allergy sufferers, bringing nasal-assaulting tree pollen along with all those lovely spring flowers.

If you live in a pollen hot spot like Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte or Hartford, Conn., it may seem like more people than ever are sniffling, sneezing, and suffering because of spring allergies. Ever hear someone say the pollen is killing them. Many feel like they are dying.

First of all if you don't know what your spring allergy triggers are I suggest you get tested by your allergist. An allergy skin test is the quickest and most accurate way to find out what you are allergic to, whether it's grass, pollen, mold or weeds. If you have never had a skin test it's simple and pretty painless.

 

The skin, back or shoulder, is pricked with a needles to allow an allergen, such as grass or pollen, to be introduced into the outer layer and then after about 15 to 20 minutes your doctor will check for a reaction, such as redness and swelling. The reaction will identify the specific allergen causing your symptoms.

Now you know your triggers so your are better able to avoid your triggers as much as possible. You have now completed the first steps in keeping your allergies under control. Make sure to keep an eye on the pollen count in your area. You can use our handy 4 days pollen forecast.

Remember that allergy causing plants depend on the wind to disperse their pollens. They have not evolved with strategies (such as pretty flowers and sweet scents) to attract the flying insects they need for pollination. The wind can blow pollens from miles away so there are a few easy things you can do to help with airborne triggers.

First, keep your windows closed, even on those beautiful spring days. That's when allergen levels are at their highest. Next, after you've spent time outdoors for an extended period of time, when you come inside be sure to take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes. Your hair, clothing, and skin can become quickly loaded with pollen and it is important not to spread it around your home.

Don’t throw those pollen-laden clothes on your bed! Allergens such as pollen and mold tend to stick to fabrics, which means you transfer allergens from your clothes to your furniture, on your bedding and even on the people around you. Also wash your sheets and your clothes as often as possible to rid them of allergens during the spring season.  We recommend using Allersearch Allergen Wash because it is just as effective in cold water as it is in hot. 

Try to stay indoors on windy days.

Many people love to get out in the garden when spring arrives. People with allergies should avoid certain garden chores that aggravate their symptoms, such as working in the compost pile (lots of mold), working with mulch or straw, raking, using power blowers, or mowing lawns. Mowing grass can cause grass particles, pollen, and mold to become airborne. Many people use a dust and pollen mask. Our Qmask is effective, comfortable and washable. I've had mine going on 3 years now.

If you know what you are allergic to then don't plant trees, grasses, or shrubs that cause your allergies. Choose plants that are insect-pollinated instead. Keep grass trimmed so it doesn't flower. If allergies prevent you from mowing, it may be wise to invest in a yard care service or reduce your lawn area by adding flower beds or ground covers.

Eliminate weeds from the garden early, before they reach maturity and flower. Easier said than done...

Your doctor or allergist may also recommend medications to help alleviate allergic reactions. For gardeners with hay fever, you can take over-the counter, non-sedating antihistamine, such as generic Claritin or Zyrtec, in the morning. Eye drops can relieve itching, swelling, and irritation. Nasal sprays come in both non-steroid and corticosteroid forms, and can effectively reduce allergic reactions.

These treatments can ease pain after gardening, but are much more effective when taken as a precaution before gardening activities - and allergy symptoms - begin. For gardeners with allergies or asthma, your doctor or allergist can recommend one of many different types of medications, in oral or inhaled form, to treat your condition.

Spring is a beautiful time of year. Warmer days with all the plants waking up from a long cold winter. Enjoy it. The key to dealing with your spring induced allergies is to know your triggers and to avoid them as much as possible.
 

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