The springtime foliage may be easy on the eyes but not so easy on the nose and the lungs. Grass pollen season is here, and with it severe cases of allergies.
“A cough or a sneeze or watery eyes, that’s one thing. But there’s people who can actually be bed ridden by allergies that are severely affected,” said Jason Davis, Lane County Pubic Health spokesman.
In extreme cases, allergies can even lead to pneumonia and other respiratory infections. So what can you do to prevent such a bad reaction to pollen?
“The first thing that people should do is know their allergy situation,” Davis said. “They’ll be able to do some pretty basic tests to figure out A) if you have allergies and B) what those allergies are,” Davis said.
With pollen counts in the Willamette Valley on the rise, it’s important to make sure the air in your home is clean and free of allergens.
“Close your windows at night. Pollen counts can be high at night. The wind picks up and it blows pollen inside,” Davis said.
Simple changes around the house might be more effective than making a run to the pharmacy.
“A lot of people say they found out they have allergies and they want to go get over-the-counter medicine,” Davis said. “Sometimes some of those alternative steps you can take are better than just medicating.”
For many people, the warmth of spring is a chance to get back in the garden. But to avoid allergies, it’s important to be strategic about when you head back outdoors.
“Make sure that when you are outside and you’re mowing your lawn, and you’re pulling your weeds, you’re doing it at a time when it’s not windy. It’s not going to kick up more debris,” Davis said.
Health experts say that there’s much to be done to be proactive against allergies, and the allergy season is only going to get worse, meaning now is the time to be proactive.