Pollen levels are high in Stark County and residents can expect more of the same for the foreseeable future. Canton City Public Health has reported tree pollen levels as high as 183 the week of May 14th, 2023 and oak trees are the main contributor. Pine and mulberry pollen counts in Canton are through the roof as well, leaving some allergy sufferers with red eyes and sneezing. The pollen in the area is accumulating on everything, leaving cars, buildings and anything else outside covered in a yellow powder. Pollen.com has pollen levels high in Stark County, with Canton’s pollen levels sitting above 9.0 for the next five days, which means it may be time to stock up on allergy meds, tissue and eye drops.
With the arrival of spring and summer, many individuals experience the unwelcome return of seasonal allergies. The itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and congestion can make this otherwise delightful time of year a challenging period for those susceptible to allergies. However, with the right knowledge and proactive measures, you can effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
- Identify Your Triggers:
The first step in managing seasonal allergies is identifying the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms. Common culprits include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, as well as mold spores. Keeping a record of your symptoms and the corresponding outdoor conditions can help you pinpoint the triggers more accurately. Additionally, consulting with an allergist can provide you with allergy tests to determine the specific allergens affecting you.
- Monitor Pollen Counts:
Stay informed about daily pollen counts in your area. Weather reports and various mobile applications often provide this information. Limit your outdoor activities on days when the pollen count is high, particularly during the early morning and late afternoon when pollen levels tend to peak. If you must go outside, consider wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen and use a pollen mask or scarf to cover your nose and mouth.
- Keep Indoor Air Clean:
To minimize exposure to allergens, ensure your indoor air quality is as clean as possible. Keep windows closed during high pollen days and use air conditioning, preferably with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. Regularly clean or replace air filters to prevent the circulation of allergens. Consider using a dehumidifier to control mold growth in damp areas.
- Maintain a Clean Living Space:
Regular cleaning can significantly reduce allergens in your living space. Vacuum carpets and rugs frequently using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter. Dust surfaces with a damp cloth to avoid spreading allergens into the air. Wash bedding regularly in hot water to eliminate dust mites. Additionally, keep pets out of bedrooms and off furniture, as they can carry allergens on their fur.
- Practice Personal Hygiene:
To minimize exposure to allergens and prevent them from spreading further, practice good personal hygiene. Shower and wash your hair before bedtime to remove any pollen that may have accumulated during the day. Consider changing clothes after spending time outdoors to prevent pollen from lingering on fabrics.
- Over-the-Counter Medications:
Over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops can provide temporary relief from allergy symptoms. Antihistamines help alleviate sneezing, itching, and runny nose, while nasal sprays can relieve congestion. Eye drops are effective in reducing itchiness and redness of the eyes. However, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before using any medications, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.
- Natural Remedies:
Some natural remedies may help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms. Neti pots or saline nasal rinses can help clear nasal passages and reduce congestion. Local honey consumption is believed to offer relief from allergies by exposing the body to small amounts of local pollen, building tolerance over time. However, the effectiveness of these remedies may vary among individuals, so it is important to find what works best for you.
- Consult a Healthcare Professional:
If your seasonal allergies are severe or persist despite taking preventive measures, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your symptoms, recommend prescription medications if necessary, and provide personalized advice on managing your allergies effectively.