Spring is beautiful in North Carolina. Flowers bloom, birds sing, and a cool breeze washes over the entire state. Unfortunately, that cool breeze also coats everything around us with sticky yellow pollen. On average, North Carolinians use more medications to relieve allergies than the rest of the country, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Spring pollen levels peak in mid-spring; find the daily pollen report for Raleigh at the state environmental agency’s website. When pollen season strikes, how can you beat spring allergies?
Symptoms of Spring Allergies
Allergy symptoms can mimic the cold, flu, or sinus infections – but they last much longer. If you are suffering from cold symptoms for more than 14 days, you may want to visit your primary care doctor or an allergy specialist to get tested for allergies.
Spring allergy symptoms include:
- A runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Pressure headaches
Common Causes of Spring Allergies in North Carolina
Every North Carolinian recognizes the yellow film that covers their cars, homes, clothes, and anything else that’s outside. It’s pine pollen. You may think this is the source of your allergy woes, but pine pollen is actually too large to cause allergic reactions. However, oak, sweet gum, poplar, and other common culprits tend to bloom at the same time, so that yellow cloud of pollen is a good indicator that your allergies might be acting up.
If you are allergic to any of these pollens, you may suffer from the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever.
Trees aren’t the only source of allergy-inducing pollen. The same beautiful flowers that brighten your garden just might be making you feel miserable. Chamomile, daisies, ragweed, and chrysanthemums are some of the biggest offenders.
Any plant that reproduces gives off pollen, and mold is no different. Mold releases spores into the air and can add to those achy, sneezy symptoms.
Preventing Spring Allergy Symptoms
Avoid Contact with Allergens
The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to stay away from allergens in the first place. During the spring, keep an eye on Pollen.com, a great resource for local allergy information. When the allergy forecast is bad, stay indoors, keep your windows closed, and turn on your air conditioner. Make sure you’ve changed the filter recently!
You don’t want to stay quarantined during what can be the prettiest season of the year. Regular cleaning reduces the allergens you come in contact with. Always take your shoes off when coming in from outdoors, and vacuum regularly (at least once a week).
Pollen and mold will cling to your hair, skin, and clothes. To avoid spreading the allergens, put your dirty clothes in a closed hamper at night and shower before going to bed.
Get Your Ducts in a Row
When you first turn your HVAC on after a period of dormancy, the house can be flooded with dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens. This stuff accumulates during HVAC’s ‘off season,’ so stay ahead of your allergies by proactively hiring a Newcomb and Company technician to clean your ducts and get your HVAC system ready to keep your home pollen-free when allergy season hits.