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Will the 2011 Allergy Season be Worse Than 2010?

2010 and 2011 were ugly years for allergy sufferers, there was unseasonably warm weather and breezes throughout March and April which pumped up record pollen counts for oak, ash and mulberry. Flooding in the Spring and early Summer, then the dry summer in the Southwest with fires and extreme weather and flooding from hurricanes in the Southeast and East. People who never get allergies are suffering for the first time in 2010 and 2011.

The extremely wet weather causes more growth in the plants putting out pollen. Each tree actively puts out pollen for about 3 days in a normal year. The season lasts for 4 months because each type of tree pollinates at a different time. A great place to find pollen counts for your area is www.pollen.com. This Spring the pollen count for my area was high in Elm, Juniper and Maple.  Don’t forget mold which is huge through the Spring and Summer and into the early Fall. because of the rain and flooding and the extremely humid conditions. Each area of the U.S. will have different plants pollinating at different times, so it is important to check for your area.

Those who have been effected by the flooding should be very careful of toxic mold. A professional should examine your home before you spend any time inside.

6 ways you can reduce exposure to pollen and find relief?

1. Keep your home’s doors and windows closed. You can’t completely seal off your home from the outside, but keeping doors and windows closed can help prevent pollens and outdoor molds from entering. When the weather turns nice in the spring and you’re tempted to open windows to let in “fresh” air, it may be better to keep them closed and turn on your air conditioner.

2. Limit outdoor activity, particularly in the morning. Avoid being outdoors especially to exercise when pollen counts are high, or on windy days when pollen and molds are being blown about. In general, pollen counts are highest in the morning, usually from about 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. Also limit outdoor chores like grass cutting, when pollen counts are the highest.

3. When traveling by car, keep the windows up. Closing your car windows helps keep out pollens, dust and mold.

4. After being outside, take a shower and change your clothing. Pollen can collect on clothing and in your hair, so when you’ve been outside for any significant amount of time, shower and change into fresh clothes as soon as you get home. Try not to transfer the pollen from your clothes to soft surfaces in your home, like sofas, beds and carpets. Don’t hang your laundry outside to dry during heavy pollen season because pollen sticks to the towels and sheets.

5. Lastly, I believe that the use of a Neti pot to clear the nasal passages of irritants works miracles. This type of device has been used for many years to irrigate and clean out nasal passages and sinuses. If your nose is completely blocked, the neti pot is NOT the best solution. Unblock your nose first. The neti pot will clear out irritants that are causing the swelling, but must be used on a mostly cleared nose. I use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Regular Kit my daughter swears by the Neti Pot Nasal Wash / Sinus Irrigation Beginner Kit by Nasopure. I think they all work on the same principle.

6. When you’ve tried all you can on your own and you still can’t find relief, then it’s time to see your doctor. There are some very good antihistamines on the market today that can bring some level of comfort to most people. Now second-generation antihistamines such as Loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), desloratadine (Clarinex), and fexofenadine (Allegra) are less likely to cause adverse effects like drowsiness or dry mouth. Several antihistamine nasal sprays like azelastine [Astelin]) are also available to treat symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and itchy nose. There are over the counter eye drops available for itchy eyes, Bausch & Lomb Alaway Antihistamine Eye Drops is one.

One Response

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