For most of us who live here in Virginia, the arrival of spring means a needed relief from the icy winds and frigid temperatures of the winter months. However, along with warmer weather, spring brings along an often unwanted guest, pollen.
Out of all the seasonal allergy triggers, pollen is by far the most common, but why is there so much pollen in spring, and is there anything you can do to breathe easier during the season?
Why Is There So Much Pollen in Spring?
“April showers bring May flowers” If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know all too well that this saying holds true. You may be able to breathe easily for the entire year, but the moment after the first spring rain shower, you start to feel the congestion and sneezing coming on.
This natural phenomenon is part of the plant reproductive cycle. The sudden increase in rainfall in early spring tells the trees, weeds, and flowering plants that it is time to come back to life after sitting dormant for the winter season. Seemingly at the exact moment, all of these plants release their pollen into the air to fertilize nearby plants of the same species. With so many tiny particles in the air, it isn’t long until they end up in the airways of anyone living in the vicinity.
How Can You Find Relief from Pollen Allergies?
While it’s impossible to prevent plants from releasing pollen into the air, there are other practical steps you can take to prepare for the springtime allergy season and make it much more bearable.
Limit Your Exposure to Outside Air
Since the pollen exists in the air outside your home, it makes sense to minimize your time in it. So when you are at home, try to keep the windows closed. The same principle applies when you are riding in a car. While rolling the windows down to enjoy the fresh air can be tempting, relying on air conditioning to keep you cool will prevent unnecessary exposure to airborne pollen.
Check the Pollen Levels
When planning for the day or even the week, it can be helpful to check the pollen forecast. Local news stations often broadcast the pollen levels during the weather report, but you can always visit pollen.com for an up-to-date pollen forecast in your area if you missed the news. On days with high airborne allergens, try to plan indoor activities. When the levels are low, that’s the time to run errands and spend time outdoors.
Take advantage of Rain Showers
During the spring allergy season, a rain shower can provide you with a break from all the coughing, sneezing, and itchy eyes. When it rains, airborne pollen is forced onto the ground and is washed away, giving temporary relief from your symptoms.
OTC Allergy Medication
An over-the-counter antihistamine can work wonders for mild pollen allergy symptoms, especially for congestion relief; however, if your symptoms are more severe, it’s best to talk to your doctor about stronger, prescription-strength medication.
Schedule a Professional Air Quality Inspection
Since pollen is an outdoor allergen, it’s safe to assume that you’re completely protected inside your house, right? Well, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Many homeowners don’t realize that faulty or outdated ventilation systems can allow a considerable amount of pollen into their home, leaving inside air just as polluted with pollen as the air outside. A professional air quality inspection can help you identify any airborne pollen in your house as well as where it’s coming from.
Springtime Allergy Protection In Richmond and Virginia Beach
Here at AQC, we realize that the air quality inside a house directly impacts the overall health and happiness of the people who live in it. Your home should be a place where you can breathe easily and escape from the dirty, polluted air outside. So if you’re having trouble escaping from your spring pollen allergies, schedule an indoor air quality test today!