At some point, we all have to go outside for one reason or another. When the air is thick with pollen, that can be a miserable experience that leaves you sneezing and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. These tips to beat outdoor allergies will help.
How to Beat Outdoor Allergies
1. Know Your Allergy Triggers
Are you allergic to grass? Or is there a particular species of tree associated with your symptoms?
Once you know what triggers your allergies, pay attention to your local weather news. If oak pollen is on your list, for instance, the local forecast can warn you when the oak count is high, so you can take extra precautions.
2. Take an Allergy Medicine
While allergy medicines can immediately reduce many symptoms, they work even better if you begin taking them before your allergy season begins.
By taking antihistamines or other allergy medications preemptively, they have time to reach therapeutic levels. With meds in your system before you’re exposed to allergens, you can minimize or even prevent symptoms.
3. Guard Your Yard
You can’t keep pollen from your neighbor’s trees or plants from floating over to your home. You can, however, keep your allergy triggers from growing in your backyard.
- Remove trees and plants that are your known allergy triggers, or keep them trimmed well away from your windows and outdoor seating areas.
- Weed your garden beds and lawn weekly during the growing season to keep them from flowering and spreading pollen and starting new weeds.
- Mow your grass often, so it doesn’t have a chance to release airborne pollen.
- Keep hardscaped areas like patios, sidewalks, and driveways well-swept. Dirt and debris that accumulate on these surfaces will also trap pollen that will make your allergies worse.
4. Avoid High-Pollen Times
Sunlight causes flowering plants to release pollen, so the levels begin to climb an hour or two after sunrise. Around midday, pollen counts reach their peak then start to go down as the sun does.
To limit your pollen exposure outdoors, plan errands and playtime for early mornings or around dusk. It’s hot outside during the middle of the day, anyway, so staying indoors will help you remain cool as well as reducing your allergy symptoms.
5. Leave the Pollen Outside
Saving money by opening windows and leaving the air-conditioning off is nice and all, but it also allows outdoor allergens into your home. If you absolutely must rely on outdoor air for cooling, close your windows from roughly 10 AM to 4 PM when pollen is at its peak. (Closing your curtains during those times will help keep your home cooler, too.)
It’s also a good idea to change clothes after spending time outside, so you aren’t bringing it into the house with you. Showering before bedtime to wash away any remaining pollen on your skin or hair is another excellent idea.
6. Watch the Weather
Pollen counts climb on hot, muggy days, so you’ll want to be sure to follow the steps above to help beat your outdoor allergies.
Rainy days don’t just cool things off — they also cleanse the air of pollen. That’s the best time for those with allergies to get outdoors. If you’ve been running your air-conditioner to keep the house cool, rainy days are an excellent time to give it a break and air out your home, too.