MYFOXNY.COM – Allergy season is in full bloom, and the tell-tale signs are there: itchy and watery eyes and a runny nose. Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist from Long Island College Hospital, says you don’t have to suffer.
Rule # 2 – Avoid artificial “snow sprays” that can aggravate your sinuses, eyes and cause annoying respiratory symptom including cough.
Rule # 3 – Watch out for those lovely holiday like “poinsettias”, if you have skin allergies, especially if you have a sensitivity to rubber, it may cause a itchy rash.
Rule # 4 – Don’t bring in wood for the fireplace until needed, it may bring mildew and molds into your home, especially when not completely dry or damp.
Rule # 5 – Watch out for those pesky mold spores if you have a natural, fresh Christmas tree in your home, especially if you have indoor allergies!
Rule # 6 – If you humidify your home, measure the indoor humidity level with a low cost hygrometer, and keep the level of humidity at 50% or less.
Rule # 7 – It may be best to avoid wood burning stoves or direct exposure to poorly ventilated home fireplace, especially if you have asthma or respiratory problems.
Rule # 8 – Stay away from scented candles and potpourri, incense, room fragrance devices that can irritate your eyes and nose as well as your breathing.
Rule # 9 – Wash all non-porous holiday decorations, with warm soapy water to clean off dust and mildew, before placing on your tree and other areas of the home.
Rule # 10 – A HEPA air cleaner (both a portable room unit and/or central heating/ventilation system can help to reduce indoor allergens and pollutants.
The first step is to reduce outdoor seasonal “triggers” by identifying the plants and flowers that will cause you discomfort. Get tested to choose the “right” plants, shrubs and flowers that are better for you. By knowing your allergies you can also plan ahead and modify your gardening schedule. This involves having the knowledge regarding peak periods throughout the day to the culprit allergens as well as staying tuned to learn the pollen count in your town or city.
Pollen counts from the previous day are available for main cities via the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) as well as in local newspapers and with the daily weather reports on radio and TV. The Web site for the National Allergy Bureau is www.aaaai.org/nab.
You may need to adjust your planting and/or gardening activities as seasonal symptoms such as itchiness of the eyes, nose and throat, sneezing may be worse on windy, dry, sunny and clear days may be associated with greater airborne pollens as wet, cloudy and windless days can see a reduction in outdoor plant pollens.
Plants with bright, showy flowers are better for people who have allergies. Their pollen is large and because they are pollinated by insects, the pollen is seldom airborne. Plants that cause allergies usually have flowers that are small and insignificant looking and have no color for attracting nectar.
The following trees, shrubs, and plants have been found to be BETTER for people with allergies:
If you are considering adding trees to your landscape, you should AVOID planting the following: