While some people are still shoveling snow, many Americans are facing yet another blow from the weather just in time for spring – a sudden explosion of pollen for what’s expected to be a particularly nasty allergy season.
March has yet to go out like a lamb, and we at AFC Urgent Care can already tell that this month’s wacky weather is wreaking havoc on allergy sufferers, as our centers are already seeing patients flock in for some allergy relief.
Here’s why we’re seeing the “perfect storm” of allergy issues.
- Priming Effect: The Priming Effect occurs when temperatures rocket up and plunge quickly in a short amount of time. Cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon? Sounds familiar, right? The constantly changing temperatures cause your body to rev up the immune system meaning people are hyper-sensitive to the new pollen – this causes increased sensitivity and more suffering once the allergens are released.
- Warm Winters: Warm certainly isn’t something you think of when talking about winter. But warmer winters are just as much a part of allergy season as other factors. The National Climatic Data Center found that January 2015 was the second warmest month on record, on a global scale. The record-breaking snow totals also cause stress for plants, which leads to more flowers and fewer leaves. What does that mean? More pollen!
- Hot Summers: Summer heat can trigger stronger pollen seasons the following spring, with grass and tree pollen levels skyrocketing.
With all the allergy issue potential out there, it’s important to know how to protect yourself, particularly if you’re sensitive to pollen. Here are a few things that can help cut down on the severity of allergies and let you still enjoy the spring season.
- If you’ve been outside, take a shower before you go to bed and change into fresh clothes so you don’t bring pollen onto your sheets that may have clung to your skin, hair or clothes.
- Limit outdoor activity to late afternoon – pollen counts are highest in the morning.
- It’s best to go outside after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Keep car and home windows closed and opt for air condition at night to keep pollen out.
- Change your bedding and pillow covers often.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
Enjoying warmer weather is one of the best things about spring, so go ahead and smell the flowers! Just remember that we at AFC Urgent Care are here for allergy relief if you need us.
Do you have any tricks or tips to beating the pollen bloom? Share your best allergy secrets with us!