Tips on limiting exposure to pollen | Environment
It's only mid-March, but pollen is already wreaking havoc on thousands of Alabamians who have seasonal allergies. Experts at the Homewood-based Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center say this year's allergy season will stretch from mid-February to mid-June due to a mild winter and unusually warmer temperatures this spring.
Dr. Weily Soong with the AAAC offered several suggestions on ways to limit exposure to pollen. For example, you might have to reschedule your morning job or walk to the evening since he says most pollens are emitted between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Another tip gives folks an excuse to head to the beach for a vacation; Dr. Soong says a trip to a pollen-free area like the seaside can help reduce allergy symptoms. See his full list of tips below:
- Keep your windows closed at night and if possible, use air-conditioning, which cleans, cools, dries and filters the air.
- Postpone outdoor activities until later in the morning. Pollens are usually emitted between the hours from 5 a.m.-10 a.m.
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold levels are reported to be high. Wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable.
- When traveling in a car, have the windows up and the air-conditioning on
- Stay indoors on hot, dry and windy days
- Don't hang your laundry out to dry. Allergens will collect on them
- Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed
- Wash pets and vacuum often because pollen clings to pets and carpet
- Wash bedding at least once a week
- Moniter pollen and mold levels from the National Allergy Bureau at www.alabamaallergy.com or www.aaai.org/nab.
- Consider taking a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach.
- Most important, be sure to take any medications prescribed by your allergist regularly, in the recommended dosages.