12 Tips for Reducing Pollen Exposure

By

Linda Wasmer Andrews

This content is selected and managed by the Healthgrades editorial staff and is brought to you by an advertising sponsor.
x

This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the HealthGrades advertising policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Pollen

The seasons are changing—and bringing with them allergy-causing pollen. In early spring, tree pollens are often a big problem for people with seasonal allergies. By late spring and summer, grass pollens kick in. And by late summer and autumn, weed pollens bring a fresh round of misery.

Pollens are microscopic grains that play a key role in plant fertilization. If you’re allergic to specific pollens, being around them can trigger the telltale signs of an allergy attack:

  • A runny or stuffy nose

  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears, throat, or roof of the mouth

  • Red, watery eyes

  • Sneezing

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to ease these symptoms. Ask your doctor about allergy medicines and allergy shots. Then take these steps to minimize your exposure to pollen:

  1. Keep pollen outside where it belongs. Close the windows in your home and car.


  2. Run the air conditioner when you can, which helps clean the air indoors. Avoid window fans, which just bring more pollen into your home.


  3. Check the local pollen count on allergy websites, such as the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, or in weather reports. Then limit the time you spend outside on high-pollen days.


  4. Wear a pollen mask if you must be outside for a long time when pollen levels are high. That’s particularly important if your allergy symptoms are severe.


  5. Avoid planning outdoor activities for early in the morning, when pollen levels tend to peak. Pollen levels may also be elevated on hot, dry, breezy days.


  6. Be aware that pollen can cling to your skin, hair, and clothing. Take a shower and wash your hair when you come inside after an extended period outdoors. Change into clean clothes, and toss the dirty ones into the washing machine.


  7. Don’t hang clothes or sheets outside to dry. Use a clothes dryer instead.


  8. Vacuum weekly, which helps remove some of the pollen that’s carried inside on people and pets. Use a vacuum cleaner with a small-particle or HEPA filter.


  9. Know what’s growing in your lawn. Some types of grass—such as Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, and rye grass—are more likely to cause allergy problems. Consider replacing them with ground covers that don’t produce much pollen, such as bunchgrass, dichondra, or Irish moss.


  10. Have someone else mow the lawn, if possible. Keep it cut short.


  11. Choose less allergenic plants for your garden as well. Luckily, plants with colorful or scented flowers—such as the dahlia, daisy, geranium, rose, snapdragon, and tulip—produce heavy, waxy pollen that isn’t made to go airborne. They’re usually a good choice for people with pollen allergies.


  12. Avoid touching your face when working in the garden or yard. When done, leave your gardening gloves and tools outside.

Medical Reviewers: Williams, Robert, MD Last Review Date: Feb 4, 2014

© 2015 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Allergy-Friendly Gardening, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, undated (http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergy-friendly-gardening.as...;
  2. Cleaning Tips for Allergy and Asthma Sufferers, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, undated (http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/cleaning-tips-for-allergy-and...;
  3. Controlling Hay Fever Symptoms with Acccurate Pollen Counts, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, undated (http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/hay-fever-pollen-counts.aspx);
  4.  Outdoor Allergens: Tips to Remember, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 2013 (http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/outdoor-allergens.aspx);
  5. Enjoy the Season: Manage Your Allergies, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, May 29, 2012 (http://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/anonymous.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfto=false&_pageLabel=spotlig...;
  6. Pollen Allergy, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, January 2012 (http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/allergicDiseases/Documents/PollenAllergyFactSheet.pdf);
  7. Pollen, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, April 11, 2012 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/conditions/asthma/allergens/pollen/index.cfm);


We'd like your feedback.

Thank you for visiting the Finding Seasonal Allergy Relief Health Center! You have been randomly selected to participate in a customer satisfaction survey to let us know how we can improve your website experience.

The survey is designed to measure your entire experience and will appear at the end of your visit.

Thank you!

A survey will be presented to you after you finish viewing our Finding Seasonal Allergy Relief content.

You Might Also Like

12 Tips for Avoiding Pollen

Both grass and weed pollens can trigger allergy symptoms year-round. Try these tips to ease your runny nose and watery eyes.

E-mail this page to your friends.

© Copyright 2015 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Patent US Nos. 7,752,060 and 8,719,052. All Rights Reserved. 
Third Party materials included herein protected under copyright law.

Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE:

Can You Suddenly Become Allergic to Something?

NEXT ARTICLE:

Gardening Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Up Next

Gardening Tips for Allergy Sufferers