Spring is here, which is enjoyable to many, but for more than 50 million Americans, it triggers sneezing, stuffiness, runny noses and itchiness in the throat, back of the mouth and ears.
The most common outdoor allergy triggers are pollen and mold. Spring allergies are often caused by dry tree pollen, which is spread by the wind. Mold spores also float in the air and can be found almost anywhere outdoors including in soil, plants and rotting wood. Outdoor mold spores begin to increase as temperatures rise. Pollen increases with hot, dry and windy weather and is less prominent on rainy, cloudy and windless days as it does not move around as much.
So how can we enjoy the great outdoors without a box of tissues?
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology developed these tips for outdoor allergen suffers.
See an allergist for the most accurate treatment plan, which could include medication or even allergy shots, and day-to-day tips to avoid exposure to mold and pollen.
Check the mold and pollen counts in the air. The National Allergy Bureau is a free service that compiles these levels, www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts.aspx.
Stay indoors when pollen and mold levels are reported as high.
Keep your windows closed at night and while traveling in a car.
Use air-conditioning, which keeps the air clean and cool.
Follow the allergist’s treatment plan!
And a favorite tip, take a vacation during the height of the season to a pollen-free area such as the beach or sea!
For further information see www.aaaai.org.
– Alysa Robin Hantgan