Outdoor allergens – like pollens and mold spores – can be difficult to manage. It becomes even harder during the summer months when you’re spending as much time outside as possible.
To help identify what’s igniting those seasonal allergy flareups, we’ve created The Alkalol Allergen Guide, a series of blog posts we’re rolling out over the next few weeks to explain the most common outdoor allergens and provide tips on how to limit your exposure and control your symptoms.
Alkalol Allergen No. 1: Tree Pollen
Springtime seasonal allergies are most commonly caused by tree pollens. Hardwood deciduous trees, such as oak, elm, maple, birch, ash, alder, and walnut, are the top allergen producers. Depending on your region of the county, these trees typically pollinate from late January to May (For example, pollen.com showed the top allergen generators in Boston this week are still oak and ash trees).
It’s important to note that some people show cross-reactivity to tree pollens in the alder, beech, birch and oak family, and the juniper and cedar family. That means if you’re allergic to one type of tree, you are likely to be allergic to others in the same family. A visit to the allergist can help identify what tree pollens you are allergic to.
Tree pollen tips:
1. If you buy trees for your yard, look for species that do not aggravate allergies such as crape myrtle, dogwood, fig, fir, pear, plum, redbud and redwood trees or look for the females of ash, box elder, cottonwood, maple, palm, poplar or willow trees. Prevention.com has an excellent article on selecting the right trees and bushes to allergy-proof your yard.
2. Keep windows in your home and car closed to lower exposure to pollen.
3. To keep cool in summer months, use air conditioners and avoid using window and fans that blow air in from outside.
4. Nasal rinsing with a product like Alkalol Nasal Wash once or twice a day (morning and night or after you’ve been outside) is a great way to quickly and effectively wash away tree pollen and other inhaled allergens.
5. Be aware that pollen can be transported indoors on people and pets, so after working in the yard, change clothes, shower, and wash your hair to rinse away pollen.