For some of us, the emergence of the beautiful flowers and green growth of spring is the beginning of a very uncomfortable season of allergy. Pollen from grasses, weeds or trees can trigger symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and asthma. While exposure is difficult to avoid, there are several ways to prevent or reduce pollen allergy symptoms:
- Stay indoors until after midday, particularly in the pollen season and on windy days.
- Avoid going out during, or after thunderstorms, particularly when pollen counts are high. Information about Australian pollen counts is available at www.pollenforecast.com.au
- Wear sunglasses, carry tissues, shower when you arrive home, and rinse your eyes with water.
- Do not mow grass and stay inside when it is being mown. If mowing is unavoidable, wear a mask or take a non-drowsy antihistamine.
- Keep windows closed at home and in the car. Use recirculating air conditioning in the car.
- Do not picnic in parks or in the country during the pollen season.
- Try to plan holidays out of the pollen season or holiday at the seaside.
- If landscaping at home, research plants less likely to trigger allergic rhinitis or asthma. If you are sensitive to particular weeds or trees that are outside your bedroom window, have them removed.
Effective treatments are available! Seek advice from your treating healthcare provider about medications and other interventions that may relieve your symptoms.