Say goodbye to winter boots and shoveling- spring is here! While most of us are all too ready for spring to fully burst into bloom, asthmatics and allergy sufferers everywhere are bracing themselves for a surge in symptoms because spring is the season of pollen. Pollen is a fine powdery substance released when flowers, weeds, trees, grass, and other plants begin to bloom. Pollen can exacerbate asthma symptoms because and asthma and pollen allergies often occur together; about 50% of people with asthma also have pollen allergies.
If you have asthma and/or allergies, don’t fear spring this year. Take these proactive steps to cut down pollen exposure and breathe easy throughout spring.
- Stay medicated ahead of the pollen explosion. If you haven’t been using your asthma medication because you’ve been feeling fine, get back on track before things start blooming. Keep quick-relief medicine on hand as well in case of a flare-up.
- Limit your time outdoors when pollen reports show that pollen levels are high. Check the pollen forecast for your area here. Pollen counts peak between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. so definitely cut down on your early morning outdoor exposure.
- Don’t hang drying laundry outdoors. Use a dryer instead of a clothesline. Pollen will cling to your fresh, clean laundry and sneak in to your home and wardrobe.
- If possible, find someone to mow your lawn, fertilize, and do the gardening. If you do it yourself, wear a mask and do it at night when the pollen count is at its lowest.
- If you need to cool off, opt for AC instead of opening the windows in your home or car. When the AC is on, turn on the recirculate setting so that it doesn’t draw in air from outside with pollen in it.
- Pollen sticks to your clothes and body. If you’ve been outside where there’s a lot of pollen, change into a new set of clothes immediately upon getting home and be sure to take a shower to wash off pollen from your skin and hair before bed. You want to cut down the amount of pollen that transfers from you to your home.
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