All of France is in the red at the moment. The pollens are out. If you are allergic to pollen, understanding how they are spread and how to avoid it can make all the difference in the spring.
If you’re one of those people who scratches or wheezes when exposed to pollens, you probably know exactly when they’re in the air. But do you know why it bothers you?
There are actually several types of pollen, mostly from trees and weeds. They tend to fluctuate seasonally, peaking in spring and summer. Pollen is a fine, yellowish powder that is carried by the wind, insects and animals, and whose main function is to fertilize plants. But its spread can cause allergy symptoms in people who are sensitive to it. You breathe in the small pollen particles and your body releases histamines to defend itself. These histamines are responsible for the allergy symptoms you experience.
Understanding and Considering Pollen Content
Pollen count is measured by air sampling devices that collect samples for 24 hours. The material collected is then analyzed according to the types and concentration of pollen.
These counts show that today, pollen levels are higher than ever. According to experts, this is due to climate change. Warmer temperatures mean higher carbon dioxide levels. This increases a plant’s pollen production. Pollen also has a wide range. On a windy day, pollen can fly 160 km from its place of origin.
In general, hot, dry, and windy days are more likely to generate higher pollen counts, while cool, humid, and rainy days have less pollen floating around. It’s a good idea to keep track of the pollen count in your area.
This information is usually accurate and can provide insight into when and where pollen is high. However, it is important to know which type of pollen aggravates your allergy symptoms.
This is so that you can interpret the pollen concentration forecast to know if a high count of a particular pollen will be a problem for you that day.
Limit exposure to pollen
Another problem with pollen is that it is really sticky. An open window is an invitation for pollen. If you are allergic to pollen, keep your windows closed and the fan running during allergy season.
Investing in an air purifier that has a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter can also help keep pollen from wandering around your home. It’s also a good idea to get rid of carpets, which can trap pollen.
Anything that can be wiped off or put in the wash is better than anything that cannot be removed, as pollen is very sticky.
Pets also carry pollen, especially long-haired animals. Wash them after they’ve been outside during pollen season, as they can carry pollen throughout the house.
Pollen can also stick to clothing and hair. Limit your outdoor activities during pollen season. Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes when you go inside.
This will reduce your exposure at home. Even the simple act of washing your face after being outdoors can make a big difference to your symptoms.