Tips For Dealing With Pollen

For those who suffer from asthma or allergies, the change to warmer weather can sometimes mean running nose, watery eyes or breathing difficulties. It’s time for a quick pollen lesson to better equip you to take control of your breathing.

Pollen grains are tiny particles given off by trees, grass and weeds. Wind-pollinated plants are of most concern to people with asthma and allergies since they are carried by the wind and are easily breathed into the nose and lungs. Different types of pollen surface during certain periods in the year — tree pollen in spring, grass pollen in early summer and ragweed in August until the first frost.

Here are some tips to reduce your exposure to pollen:
• Keep windows closed in the home and car, using an air conditioner, if needed, to clean, and cool the air.
• Check pollen reports online if you need to avoid going outside when pollen levels are high.
• Since air pollution can increase the negative health effects of pollen, limit outdoor activities on days with high pollution levels. Check your local Air Quality Health Index at airhealth.ca.
• If possible, people allergic to pollen should not cut the lawn.
• If you’ve been outside during peak pollen season, take a shower to wash the pollen from your skin and hair and change into new clothes.

Keep your asthma well-controlled to reduce the risk of breathing difficulties. For more information call The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or visit on.lung.ca.