Spring is here! And so are the pollens from trees and grasses that can trigger asthma and allergies. In these unprecedented times when the slightest cough or sneeze can cause concern, it is more important than ever to make sure that your symptoms are addressed to offer you some relief.
Here are some helpful tips to limit your outdoor exposures to the allergens in the air.
Pollens (Trees, Grasses)
- Stay indoors with windows closed. Pollen counts are highest from mid-morning to early evening, especially on windy days.
- Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning at home and in the car.
- Use a HEPA purifier to filter allergens.
- Consider wearing a face covering, filter mask, or sunglasses when mowing the lawn, raking leaves or gardening.
- If you go outside, change your clothes as soon as you get inside and put dirty clothes in a covered hamper, shower/bathe and wash your hair, especially before bed as allergens in hair can get on your pillow and increase airway exposure
If symptoms are not controlled, it’s time to see your doctor. An allergist can help you identify what you are allergic to and the best strategies for avoidance. They can also treat your allergies with medications and talk to you about whether allergy shots could help your symptoms.
If you have asthma, spring may also bring some unwelcomed breathing problems.
Take a moment to answer some of the following questions to see whether your asthma is controlled.
How well is your asthma controlled?
- Do you cough, wheeze, or have chest tightness/shortness of breath more than twice per week?
- Does coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath limit your activity?
- Do you wake up at night because of coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath?
- Are you using a rescue inhaler, such as albuterol, more than twice per week, other than for exercise?
Please consult with your doctor and seeing an allergist may be helpful in identifying specific triggers to improve your asthma symptoms.If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, your asthma is not well-controlled.