Do seasonal allergies give you an itchy nose, congestion, or give you fits of sneezing and wheezing? You're in good company because an estimated fifty million Americans suffer from allergies every year. For every season, you can bet there's an allergy to go along with it.
Know Your Season
First, it's crucial to know when allergy season is in your area, and I'll give you a hint: it's allergy season right now. No matter where you live, tree pollen usually strikes first in the early spring and is followed by grass and then weed pollen in mid to late summer.
Here are two ways you can get ahead of the pollen game:
1. Use a Pollen Forecast Map
You can try Pollen.com or WeatherBug.com
2. Download an App to get pollen count updates
Both Pollen.com and WeatherBug.com have free Apps you can download on iPhone and Android.
Prepare For Allergy Season
In the off-season, try adding local raw honey to your daily diet. Not every allergist agrees this helps, but I know through personal experience that changing the way you consume an allergen can help your body become less sensitized to it. The honey needs to be local so its pollen is local too. If it doesn't make a difference in your allergies, you can rest assured it's antibacterial benefits are promoting improved well-being.
To keep pollen outside where it belongs, and not in your house, here are three simple tricks that'll make a considerable difference to your life.
1. Change Your Airfilters (and make sure they're HEPA filters)
2. Leave Your Shoes Outside
3. Take Mom's Advise to Declutter and Dust
Planning Outside Time
Preparing a day trip? Ragweed grows faster in the city, and its pollen is 5x as potent than it is in rural areas. If we add in the exhaust from buses and traffic, it's a recipe for trouble.
Here are three strategies for planning your next day out.
1. Stay Home On Windy Days
While self-explanatory, if it's windy outside, you're going to be slapped in the face with pollen all day and covered from head to toe when you get home. Check the weather. If it's a lousy pollen day and windy, do yourself the favor of staying home and replanning the visit.
2. Visit The City In The Morning
Pollen sticks to liquid, and if dew is still on the grass, you know you're good to go, but there's something else most allergy sufferers don't realize makes their situation worse: Constant traffic in a city plus the heat from the afternoon sun create ground-level ozone (a chemical reaction) which restricts your lungs and causes congestion and coughing, worsening allergy symptoms. The hotter it gets outside, the more you're at risk, so it's better to stay home or plan your trip for the next morning.
3. Go Outside After It Rains
Rain is the answer to prayer in mid to late Spring, spoken and coughed out by every red-eyed, stuffy nosed person. It's nature's way of washing away what was and clearing the way for what will be. While you're in this perfect haven of in-between time, take advantage of it by heading outside.
Using a pollen forecast to prepare and plan is the best way to go. Once you pick your day, implement my tips for enjoying your day out!