That persistent northeast wind the past few days has done more than just take down a few tree limbs or blow around deck furniture – it’s impacting people’s health.
Winds between 20-40 mph are making an already bad allergy season worse by blowing around tree pollen, which is the biggest spring allergy culprit.
“This spring season there is going to be very high tree pollen followed by very high grass pollen for the next several months,” said Philip Hemmers, DO, an allergist with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. “So we’ll see allergy season here until the end of June.”
The good news is those winds have died down over the last day, and should continue to improve this weekend. The bad news is the connection between weather and your mental and physical health isn’t going away. In addition to pollen, weather can bring with it mold and smog, two other allergy triggers.
While you can’t control Mother Nature, there are some things you can control during this spring allergy season. According to WebMD:
- Try to stay indoors whenever the pollen count is very high. The counts usually peak in the mornings.
- Keep your doors and windows closed during the spring months to keep allergens out. An air purifier may also help.
- Clean the air filters in your home often. Also, clean bookshelves, vents and other places where pollen can collect.
- Wash your hair after going outside, because the allergen can collect there.
- Vacuum twice a week. Wear a mask, because vacuuming can kick up pollen, mold and dust that were trapped in your carpet.
If none of those methods relieve your symptoms and your allergies are severe, there are immunotherapy treatment options that can retrain your immune system not to be allergic to pollen.
“Instead of breathing pollen in through your nose or having it come in through your eyes, we bypass that part of the immune system either by giving an injection or tablet of pollen that you can put under your tongue,” said Hemmers. “We expose the body to that same pollen that you’re allergic to over and over and over again until the body gets used to it and becomes tolerant.”
No matter what the weather, click here for more information on allergy treatments, including over-the-counter medications.