Seasonal allergies hit people especially hard during the spring. One reason for this is the sheer number of trees, grasses, flowers, and shrubs bursting into bloom. Surprisingly, there are several other allergens that can trigger spring allergies, such as pests and mold. Those who experience recurring allergy symptoms may find testing helpful in identifying bothersome allergens to better control their symptoms.
Most people know that roaches and rodents can cause allergic reactions that mimic those of seasonal allergies. Because of these potential allergic reactions, t’s always a good idea to keep pests out of the home. But during the spring, insects (e.g. bees, wasps, and ants) become far more active, triggering possibly severe allergic reactions in those sensitive to these insects.
If someone in your home has an allergy to insect bugs and stings, take steps to keep the immediate area around your home free from these insects. Professionals like those at Joshua’s Pest Control can address infestations that may pose a serious health risk to you or your loved ones.
As disturbing as this is to many people, mold lives everywhere. It is especially fond of moist places, such as leaves, logs, kitchens, and bathrooms. There are about 1,000 species of mold present in the United States. Many of these move through the air as tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye.
Outdoor mold spore concentrations begin to rise with increasing spring temperatures. It’s important to monitor mold counts in your area if you have a mold allergy. When the levels are high, it is important to avoid spending time outside. As you spring clean your yard to prepare for summer time outdoors, it is important to wear protective gear, such as goggles and a dust mask. All of the clippings, leaves and other items that have been sitting all winter will likely have been growing mold.
In addition to air filtration, it is also important to keep indoor temperatures on the lower end to reduce humidity and limit the growth of mold in your home. Humidity levels above 50 percent are an ideal environment for fungus and mold to thrive. The goal is to keep the humidity level between 35 and 45 percent.
Pollen is the evil mastermind responsible for the majority of spring allergies. There are many types of plants that can trigger spring allergies, but the primary culprits are trees, weeds, and grasses. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) reports as many as tens of millions of Americans having an allergic reaction to these pollens.
Symptoms may include nasal congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, itchy throats, wheezing, and itchy eyes. Pollen can also make asthma symptoms worse, triggering greater wheezing or coughing.
It’s important to monitor the pollen count in your area, but it isn’t the only factor that should be considered. Even if the total pollen count is low, you may still experience symptoms. The type of pollen you are sensitive to may be more prevalent in your area even if the total levels aren’t high. The opposite can also be true. Therefore, it is important to take precautions throughout the entire season.
One of the most important things you can do is to carefully manage your interior air quality. Invest in air filters that remove pollen from your central air unit or a stand alone unit for those who don’t have a central system. Remove clothing and take a shower after spending significant time outdoors to remove any pollen that may be clinging to you. This applies to pets who spend time outside, as well.
While many people are more familiar with spring allergies, fall allergies are also a serious problem for a large portion of the population. It isn’t unusual for a person who has seasonal allergies to suffer during both the spring and fall. Many of the tips for reducing allergen contact will be applicable during both parts of the year.