Do what you can to protect yourself from these allergy aggravators
When we think of allergies, we often think of pollen that comes from big, beautiful blooming flowers. But the majority of people suffer allergic reactions to tree pollen, which has a very long season in Florida, due to the milder climate. The moist, humid air can make the pollen count even more brutal, and breezy climates can transport that pollen long distances.
Which plants cause most of the allergy problems in Florida? Those big flowering plants are less of a problem, because they rely on insects to transfer their pollen. The real culprits, allergy-wise, are trees, because they rely on the wind to spread their pollen far and wide. Trees are excellent at reproducing themselves this way.
Some of the common pollen producers in Florida include:
- bayberry (blooms spring)
- birch (blooms late winter–early spring)
- elm (blooms late January–spring)
- maple (blooms winter–spring)
- oak (blooms winter–spring)
Here are some tips for surviving allergy season in the Florida climate:
1. Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging laundry outside. You might love that fresh smell from the great outdoors, but anyone in your household with allergies will pay the price for the pollen that collects on the clothes. (While you’re at it, cut down on laundry detergent and dryer sheets that use perfumes. All of these chemicals can have an effect on our sensitive systems.)
2. Stay indoors whenever there’s a forecast for thunderstorms—including the hours leading up to one. This usually signals that there will be rapid changes in the weather—humidity as well as wind—than can aggravate allergy symptoms.
3. Vacuum more often than you would normally. Running the vacuum a couple of times a week will help to get rid of any pollen that’s settled in the dust on your floors and in carpets. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag regularly, and wear a mask, or get someone else in the household to do it—outside!
4. Be careful what kind of trees you plant in your yard. If you know what kind of trees you’re most allergic to, be aware you’ll have a much more severe reaction to the pollen coming off a tree that’s right in front of your house than from one that’s just one block away.
5. Replace air filters and air conditioner filters regularly. You don’t want that pollen trapped in your air delivery devices, especially since they’ll be pumping air particles long after allergy season is over. Consult the owner’s manual for how often you should do this, and recruit some assistance if you need it, to avoid your own exposure.
We hope that these suggestions provide any of the allergy sufferers in your life with some relief this season. It’s wonderful to live in a climate where you can be outside all year ’round, but it can mean taking some extra precautions, if necessary.
This article is part of the Harris Casel Career Institute’s weekly blog. We care about the well being of all of our prospective and current students. Learn more about the career training programs we offer at our campus in Melbourne, FL.