Allergy Alert! Why are allergies so bad right now?

Anyone who suffers from allergies knows the drill. Flowers start blooming and the air begins to thicken with pollen. Warm spring air gently caresses us and paints our cars all the same shade of yellow. The weather service starts promoting its newest “pollen alert” banner, and we can’t help but watch it as closely as we watch the weather. All-in-all, spring can mean a major change in lifestyle for allergy sufferers. So, why do some days seem worse and others seem ok? What can you do to enjoy spring without sacrificing everything that makes spring great?

Well, the answer may be a lot simpler than you think.

Types of Allergies in Spring

Pollen is a yearlong issue in many parts of Florida. The main reason for this is the fact that flowers bloom almost the entire year. That means that along with seasonal mold, dust, and wind, we see pollen as a main issue. That being said, some factors increase allergies during spring. Some compound each other.

Wind and water are two main factors. As it begins to dry out in the winter months, some of the pollen is free to roam the airways. When it rains or the humidity increases, this can slow the spread of pollen by weighing it down. However, the strong winds before and after a rainstorm kick up allergens.

Even when our winters here in Florida are mild, we still accumulate leaves on the ground. These leaves are perfect breeding grounds for mold and spores. These are big allergens for many. As a result, seasonal allergies are consistently a major factor in spring.

March, for example, is the middle of tree pollen season for oak and pine. Weed pollen is also starting beginning to surface. I’m sure you’ve all seen the “Oh, look. It pollened last night” cartoons. Well, these aren’t too far from the truth. We often walk out to find a layer of yellow has blanketed everything.

Things that make Allergies Worse. My inground pool??

Chlorinated pools can actually exacerbate allergy symptoms. However, with proper steps you can minimize this effect. Wear goggles when you swim in your inground pool or aboveground pool, especially during high allergy and pollen days. This is really a main factor in the relationship between aboveground or inground pools and allergies. The chlorine can irritate your eyes and make them more vulnerable to allergy symptoms. Taking a shower after swimming can also help minimize exposure to the chlorine and cause much less of an impact on your allergies.

Eyes are often called the window to the soul, but they are also a great entry way for allergies. Another way to avoid getting allergy symptoms is to wear big sunglasses while doing outdoor activities. Even lounging around your aboveground or inground pool can make you magnet for allergens like pollen, dust or spores. So, protect yourself and stay happy. Sunscreen? Check. Big sunglasses? Check.

Finally, you can minimize your daily allergen exposure by showering or rinsing off at night. Showering after being in the chlorine from your aboveground or inground pool isn’t the only time a good shower can minimize your allergies. Hair, skin, and clothes can all hold onto pollen, dust, and spores. By taking a shower or rinsing off after work or before bed, you prevent these allergens from spreading throughout your home (especially your bed). Let the allergies stay outside.

Enjoy Spring. Minimize Allergies.

Ah, Spring. In South and Central Florida, spring is one of the most beautiful times of year. Warm days bring out families to enjoy their gardens or inground pools. Cool days provide relief from the extremes. The days get longer, and we absolutely want them to. But these allergies stick out like sore thumb . . . or, more accurately, a sore nose. Spring time wreaks havoc on those of us who suffer from allergies, but by following these simple tips, you can truly minimize the impact.