How to deal with seasonal
For some, warmer weather heralds sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes.
These tips will help minimize suffering and maximize
spring and summer fun
• Know what sets you off. Pollen
is the number one cause of seasonal
allergies. if your symptoms are worst
in the spring, you likely react to tree
pollen; if you suffer more in summer
and fall, then grass and weed pollen are
likely the culprits.
• Check the pollen count. You can
reduce your symptoms by avoiding
spending too much time outside
when the pollen count is high. Visit
theweathernetwork.com to find your
local pollen index.
• Allergies make asthma worse.
“Remember not to stop your asthma
medications in spring and summer,”
says Dr. Sheldon Spier, associate
professor of pediatrics at the university
of Calgary and medical director of the
Calgary Pediatric Asthma Service.
• Spend your mornings indoors.
Pollen counts are higher before noon.
if the blue skies and fresh air are too
strong to resist, at least limit your time
outside in the a.m.
• Snow mould can trigger allergies, and be a real problem for asthma
sufferers. Avoid too much time on the
grass where mould is present, including
playing sports, advises Spier. For more
on snow mould, see page 11.
• “do not cut the grass yourself,”
says Spier. if allergies are an issue, pass
the mowing duties to someone else.
• leave pollen outside. While it is not
as sticky as some other allergens, pollen
can travel indoors on clothes, skin, hair
and on pets. Spier advises taking coats
and shoes off before coming indoors.
Wash your hands thoroughly, and you
can even rinse out your eyes and nose.
• don’t use the clothesline. As nice
as sun-dried clothes can be, they can be
covered in allergens. Toys and bikes are
also best stored in a garage or shed.
• Choose floral arrangements
carefully. A vase of flowers is a great
way to bring spring indoors, but you’ll
want to avoid pollen-heavy flowers. Such
flowers often have a hairy stem or leave a
residue of pollen — either dust or stickiness — on your fingers when touched.
• Watch for indoor allergens.
Heading inside should be an escape
for seasonal allergy sufferers, but
only if indoor allergens are kept to a
minimum. Keep windows closed and
be aware of any reaction to pet dander
or dust that may be making your
seasonal allergies worse. For more
information on how to improve air
quality, visit applemag.ca.