Some steps to manage your Pollen Allergies

Some steps to manage your Pollen Allergies

Pollen is a fine powdery substance that is typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower or from a male cone on the plant.

A Pollen Allergy occurs when there is an immune response to pollen from grasses, flowers, weeds or trees. A Pollen Allergy commonly triggers Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever) and also may aggravate Asthma (for people with pre-existing conditions).

If you have a Pollen Allergy, it can be challenging to avoid pollen as it is in the wind and is easily inhaled. There are however, steps that you can take to reduce exposure and reduce risks that can lead to an allergic reaction from pollen.

Here are some steps to manage your Pollen Allergies in Spring (but also year-round)-

AT ALL TIMES-
  • Know the pollen forecast for the day or week ahead- Check the Pollen Count, the Temperature, and the Wind to understand what to expect. There are plenty of online resources, weather channels, mobile apps, television, and radio shows that report this, to help you know what to expect ahead.
  • Carry to wear (as required) a surgical or N95 mask that filters air particles (reduces pollen) as small as 0.04. Pollen is typically between 10 and 100 micrometres in size.
  • Carry your pollen allergy relief options and emergency medication to have it on hand in the case of a minor or severe allergic reaction.
  • Make sure others (especially your family and friends) are Allergy Aware of your Pollen allergy so they can help you manage and reduce allergens where possible. 
AT HOME
  • Minimise indoor pollen by:
    • keeping your windows shut (especially at night, when your lawn is being mowed or when the pollen counts are high)
    • dusting any surfaces exposed to the outdoors, and
    • using your AC or a HEPA purifier to filter allergens
  • Delegate garden activities or outside chores such as lawn mowing, weeding, cleaning the gutters, etc OR do them while wearing a surgical or N95 mask.
  • Limit your time outside when the pollen count is high. Use it as an opportunity to plan indoor activities such as baking, board games, console gaming, reading, etc.
  • Try not to hang laundry outside, as pollen can stick to clothing, sheets, towels, etc.
  • Clean your floors with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.
  • Warm wash your bedding and sheets at least once a week
  • If you have pets such as a cat or a dog:
    • wipe their paws before they come inside
    • wipe their fur with a damp towel (make sure you put the towel in the laundry basket straight after)
    • keep them off your bed
    • keep them away from your bedroom, and
    • wash them regularly
OUTDOORS/ ON-THE-GO-
  • Stay home on dry, windy days (Tip: Just after a good rain is the best time to go outside, as the pollen has just been cleared from the air)
  • Where possible, reduce outdoor activity in the mornings and evenings when pollen counts are usually at their highest. Check the pollen forecast to be sure.
  • Where possible, to reduce pollen contact wear:
    • protective eye gear such as sunglasses
    • surgical or N95 masks
    • hair coverings, such as a caps/hats
    • long sleeve tops
    • long pants, especially if you’re in contact with high grasses
  • If you drive or you’re in a car, use the air conditioning and don’t open the windows.
WHEN RETURNING FROM THE OUTDOORS-
  • Leave your shoes, sunglasses, and caps/hats at the door
  • If possible, remove and place your clothes in a laundry basket near the front door
  • Shower to remove pollen you pick up from outside
  • Change your clothes and wash them (as soon as you can) to remove the pollen from them
TREATMENT & DIAGNOSIS-
  • If you experience or are in the presence of someone that encounters an immediate serious reaction (this may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, throat tightening, swelling, collapse, etc), call or have someone call triple zero (000) immediately.
  • Know your Pollen allergy relief options. In the case of a minor allergic reaction, people may use Antihistamines, Decongestants, along with other medications based on their individual symptoms and prescribed treatments. For severe allergic reactions Epinephrine may be used, followed by seeking emergency medical attention. However, some people may not be able to use Epinephrine due to particular reasons.
  • It’s important for anyone with a Pollen Allergy, to discuss treatments with a qualified health care provider to understand how to manage individual allergies and also to set up an Allergy Action Plan in the case of a reaction.
  • If treating and managing your pollen allergy gets challenging, please seek medical advice from a qualified health care provider.

Click here to read more about environmental allergies

The information provided on Allergy Life Australia is to generally educate and inform you about living with allergies, intolerances and conditions, and is not intended as medical instruction or as a substitute for diagnosis, examination and advice by a qualified health care provider.
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THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE STEPS IN MANAGING YOUR POLLEN ALLERGY TO ASSIST YOU IN NAVIGATING YOUR ALLERGY LIFE. ARE THERE ANY OTHER STEPS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

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