Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring Allergy Season – a Bloomin’ Nightmare for Many!

After one of the worst winters in memory, nearly everyone in the Central and Eastern portions of the United States was anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring. Although once spring finally arrived, a new wave of complaints started. Allergy season was arriving with a vengeance and people began calling it the “pollen tsunami!”

The scientific explanation for the “pollen tsunami” is that winter lasted so long and provided extra hydration that trees and flowers are now making up for lost time by cranking up on pollen production. Additionally, a federal report from the National Climate Assessment indicated that a shift in weather patterns is leading to earlier and longer pollen seasons. Bring on the Kleenex and decongestants!

Allergy Statistics
If you don’t suffer from pollen related allergies, this probably sounds like much ado about nothing, but here are some sobering statistics from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:

  • Nearly 20% of the United States population suffers from some form of allergy.
  • The annual cost of allergies is $14.4 billion based on a combination of doctor visits and medication.
  • Allergies are the fifth-leading cause of chronic disease and a major cause of work absenteeism.
  • There are no cures for allergies, but allergies can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.

Tips for Tackling Spring Allergies
Here are some tips on how to minimize your allergy symptoms by reducing your exposure to pollen, both indoors and outdoors:
Keeping it Clean: It’s worth the extra effort to keep your home clean by vacuuming, dusting and using a damp mop for the floors. If your vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter, consider upgrading to a model that offers HEPA filtration. For tips on spring cleaning and preserving your home’s indoor air quality, see the Energy Experts Blog.  
Filter it Out: Many people utilize a strategy of keeping windows closed to block out pollen and keep the air conditioning running. Air conditioner and furnace filters defend your home against indoor pollen, dust and mold. Each month, clean the vents and replace filters to prevent pollutants from recycling throughout your home.
Clearing the Air: An air purifier or an air filter can make a difference if you are really suffering from allergies. To learn more about filtration and purification processes, see the Energy Experts Blog.
Avoiding Pollen: Take your shoes off and leave them by the door to eliminate pollen being tracked throughout your home. When outdoors, avoiding clothing made of synthetic fabrics that can create an electric charge that attracts pollen that sticks to your clothes. Wear natural fiber clothes outside and be sure to take a shower and wash your clothes after spending time outdoors. When working in the yard, wear gloves and a mask and avoid touching your eyes. Pollen counts are usually the highest between 5:00 am and 10:00 am, so plan outdoor exercise in the late afternoon or early evening.  

Protect Your Family’s Health and Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you are suffering from pollen allergies, these tips can make a difference. Remember that children are particularly susceptible to allergic reactions due to their developing immune systems and respiratory systems. Poor indoor air quality can amplify these problems. Don’t gamble with your family’s health and well-being. Learn more about Pro Energy Consultants' indoor air quality testing.