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Don’t Let Pollen Get the Best of You
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

With news articles and reports of the pollen count being higher than usual in southwest Ohio (it clocked in at 426 grains per cubic meter in early May), it’s no surprise that allergy sufferers are experiencing a higher rate of symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, and having trouble breathing. As we head into summer, and before you head in to see a medical professional about what you can do to make breathing an easier task, make sure you follow these helpful tips.

•     Know the daily pollen counts before heading out for the day.
The pollen count specifically tells people how many grains of plant pollen were in a certain amount of air (often one cubic meter) during a set time period, which is usually within the past 24 hours. As pollen is released by trees, weeds, grasses, and flowers, the numbers can vary greatly on a day-by-day basis. But, if you know what to expect for the day, you can know if you need to stay indoors when the allergens you’re most sensitive to are high. For southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky, you can see what the daily pollen and mold count is on the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency’s site.

•     Take a shower at night and if you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors during the day, remove the clothing you wore as soon as you get home.
While your current routine may involve a morning shower, taking a shower at night after a long day rinses the pollen off your body, so it won’t spread to your bed and pillows while you sleep. Another way to prevent the pollen from following you indoors is by changing out of that clothing when you immediately get home — including your shoes. Before you decompress after a long workday, don’t get comfortable in your bedroom or living room in your professional attire. This can track pollen into these rooms and can make breathing uncomfortable. (In other words, this is a valid reason to change into your pajamas or sweatpants at the end of the day. And who doesn’t like that?)

•     Close your windows.

While it may be tempting to have windows in your home open to let the breeze in on a not-so-hot day, for those who struggle to breathe when pollen counts get the slightest bit higher than normal, having zero pollen in the house can help reduce many allergen symptoms. Switch on the air conditioning or circulating fans to keep your home cool without the negative effects of open windows letting pollen in. But closing the windows in your home isn’t the only place this tip applies to: traveling anywhere by car with the windows rolled up will prevent pollen from getting into that environment. This also means to keep the sunroof closed too. But don’t worry, you won’t be too hot in the car; choose the re-circulate option on your car’s system as it won’t be letting outside air in through the vents, and thus won’t be trapping pollen in the car.

The weather may be getting more humid and the pollen counts may be on the rise, but pollen and allergy sufferers don’t have to fret on how to breathe easier with the official start of summer nearly here. When you choose to follow these helpful tips when it comes to unusually high pollen, you’ll soon be taking a deep breath of relief.


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