Checklist for Seasonal Allergy Sufferers

Checklist for Seasonal Allergy Sufferers

In the spring and fall, tree, grass, and weed pollens become airborne and can result in sneezing, a runny nose, and itchiness in your nose, throat, and eyes.  Doctors call it seasonal allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis (when it affects the eyes) but most of us just call it hay fever.  Even when the pollen count is high, it’s possible to take steps to reduce symptoms of your seasonal allergies.

Here are eight simple steps to keep your hay fever symptoms at bay.

1. Avoid smoke exposure. Smoke, whether from cigarettes, cigars, pipes or fires greatly aggravate any respiratory symptoms.

2. Wash your hair before bed. If you’re a morning shampoo person, consider switching to shampooing and showering before bed instead.  That way pollen that collected on your hair during the day won’t rub off on your pillow.

3. Close up the house. Open windows can be refreshing, but they let in pollen.  Close windows and outside doors, especially on high-pollen days, and turn on the heat or the air-conditioning.

4. Use the ”re-circulate” option in the car. Keep windows and sunroofs closed. Especially on high-pollen days, re-circulate the air in your car instead of using the vent, which may let in pollen. Use the air conditioner and adjust the temperature to your comfort.

5. Service the filters in your furnace and air conditioner. Change them at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer, or more frequently if it seems to help.  Consider a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Valve) 11 or 12 disposable high efficiency media filter in the furnace and air conditioning system. Change filter every 3 months and leave the fan “on” to create whole house filtration.

6. Check the pollen count and plan your day accordingly. Call our hotline:  775-359-5010 ext 35  If the pollen count is high, try to plan your schedule accordingly. Delay errands and exercise, if possible, until later in the day, when pollen counts are typically lower. Take your allergy medications with you. Wear sunglasses, which can help keep pollen out of your eyes.  Pollen counts are usually highest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Weather conditions also play a role in pollen levels. Pollen sticks around in moderate temperatures with low humidity and a gentle breeze. Rain washes pollen away. Pollen is carried by the wind, so a still day will typically have lower pollen levels.

7. Control your immediate environment. If you know the exact tree, grass, and weed pollens that affect you, you can try to remove them and replant more tolerable types. But remember that airborne pollens can travel hundreds of miles from where they originated.  If you can get someone else to mow the lawn or hire it out, do so. It stirs up pollens.  Avoid sitting outdoors around freshly cut grass.

8. Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line. Pollen can collect easily on clothing or bed linens left outside.