Nature and Environment

Because at 160,000 years, the party is just getting started.

Add to My MSN

A Pollen Explosion

4/14/2014 8:17:00 AM

Tags: pollen, allergies, Earth Gauge, Washington D.C.

A cold winter and late-season snow storms in some parts of the country could mean that spring allergy season is especially rough this year. Some trees pollinate in the late winter and early spring, but cold temperatures can delay the timing of flowering and pollen release. That means that the pollen from these trees will be released around the same time that other trees and grasses release pollen later in the spring, resulting in a pollen “explosion” of sorts.

Earth Gauge Viewer Tip: So what’s an allergy sufferer to do? Limiting your exposure to pollen can help manage allergy symptoms.

Watch the weather. Weather and environmental conditions can affect the severity of your allergy symptoms. Pollen moves around less when conditions are rainy, cloudy and still, so your allergy symptoms may be better on these days. Pollen travels more readily on hot, dry and windy days, which can increase allergy symptoms. Exposure to outdoor air pollution like ozone can also increase sensitivity to allergens.

Button up. Keep windows at home and in the car closed to keep pollen from drifting into your living space.

Dry clothes indoors. Avoid hanging clothes outside to dry, where they can collect pollen.

Spend time outside after 10:00 a.m. Pollens are usually emitted in the early morning hours, from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Garden carefully. Mowing and raking can stir up pollen and mold.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has more tips for dealing with outdoor allergens.

Image: American Elm pollen, courtesy of USDA.

Sources

Dennis, B. and Cha, A. E. “Allergy Alert: Tidal wave of pent-up pollen could be headed our way,” Washington Post, April 2, 2014.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). “Outdoor Allergens: Tips to Remember.”

McMillan, M. “Spring Allergy Outlook: Can Cold Weather Make Pollen Worse?” WebMD

Weir C, et al “Ambient air pollution and allergic sensitization: results from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006? AAAAI 2012; Abstract 72)



Related Content

Worms Attack!

Who would have ever thought that worms could invade a forest and wreak havoc?

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week: Handling Heat Islands

This describes how older individuals can take steps to keep themselves cool on very hot days.

Should You Feed Your Bees?

Learn how to keep your bees properly fed and also ensure a plentiful and delicious honey harvest!

Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Understanding Allergies

Tips for limiting your exposure to pollen to help manage allergy symptoms.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.