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Ways to minimize exposure to -- and symptoms of -- airborne allergens

Pollen season is in full swing this time of year in CNY, making those who suffer from allergies to airborne irritants like pollen, dust, insecticides, and other allergens quite miserable!

Here are a few ways to minimize exposure to or symptoms of outdoor allergens – but remember, your provider at FCMG can help you manage symptoms as well (including referring you to a specialist if appropriate).

  1. Check the Pollen Forecast: Stay informed about the pollen count in your area by checking local weather reports or using online resources or mobile apps that provide pollen forecasts. Try to plan your outdoor activities on days when the pollen count is low.
  2. Stay Indoors during Peak Pollen Times: Pollen levels are typically highest in the morning and early evening. If possible, limit your time outdoors during these times, especially on dry, windy days when pollen is more likely to be in the air.
  3. Keep Windows Closed: To reduce pollen from entering your home, keep windows and doors closed, especially during high pollen days. Use air conditioning with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to help filter out allergens.
  4. Monitor and Account for Indoor Humidity: Keep the humidity level in your home between 30% and 50% to discourage the growth of mold and dust mites, which can worsen allergies. Consider using a dehumidifier or an air conditioner with a built-in humidity control feature.
  5. Remove Shoes and Outerwear: When entering your home, remove your shoes and outerwear to avoid bringing pollen and other outdoor allergens inside.
  6. Showers and Change Your Clothes More Frequently: After spending time outdoors, take a shower and change your clothes to remove pollen from your body and prevent it from spreading indoors.
  7. Wear Protective Clothing: When gardening or engaging in outdoor activities, wear a hat, sunglasses, and a mask or respirator to reduce the amount of pollen that comes into contact with your face and airways.
  8. Consider Using Allergy-Proof Bedding: Encase your mattress, pillows, and box springs in allergy-proof covers to prevent dust mites and other allergens from accumulating. Wash bedding regularly in hot water to kill dust mites.
  9. Avoid Line-Drying Clothes: When pollen levels are high, avoid line-drying your clothes outdoors as they can collect pollen. Use a clothes dryer instead.
  10. Speak with Your FCMG Provider About Treatments – and If Need Be Request a Referral to Allergist:: If your allergies are severe or significantly affecting your quality of life, consider consulting an allergist who can help identify specific triggers and develop a personalized treatment plan, which may include medications or immunotherapy.