Are your seasonal allergy symptoms getting worse lately? You are not alone. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), due to climate change, pollen counts are rising and lasting longer – extending the allergy season up to 10 months in some areas. The AAAAI also reported pollen counts are expected to double by the year 2040.
That’s a big problem for adults and children with seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever—allergies to pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses. Research has found that 80 percent of people with seasonal allergies report symptoms that significantly impair their quality of life. Common seasonal allergy symptoms are coughing, runny nose, sore throat; itchy, watery, puffy, red eyes; headache and trouble getting a good night’s rest. Many people mistakenly think they have a bad cold or the flu because their symptoms are so bad.
How to Reduce Seasonal Allergy Symptoms (and reduce your suffering!)
Running the air conditioner (AC) is one of the most commonly prescribed ways to help reduce your allergy symptoms!
Help reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms by pollen-proofing your environment. How? By keeping your windows closed, and running an air conditioner in your car and home.
In Consumer Reports “How to Ease Seasonal Allergy Symptoms”: they advise people to:
Run the air conditioner. You may be tempted to throw your windows open, but those lovely breezes can carry pollen into your home. “You want to keep doors and windows closed, so no pollen can get in,” Lockey says. An air purifier might help, too.
According to US News “Seasonal Allergy Symptoms: 6 Ways to Prevent or Treat Them” step 5 is:
Close your windows, and turn on the air conditioning. Sure, with the recession, keeping the A/C off and just opening your windows might be a tempting move for cost-conscious people. But if you’re allergic to outdoor allergens, it’s best to keep the windows shut for the sake of your health. “If you know that the live oaks are blooming and you’re sitting there all night long breathing in the live oak pollen, you’re just worsening the problem,” Melker says. “You’re letting the fundamental [allergic] reaction occur, and then you’re just trying to mask the symptoms” with medications.
The Mayo Clinic advises in Seasonal Allergies: Nip them in the bud for allergy sufferers to:
Keep indoor air clean. There’s no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens from the air in your home, but these suggestions may help:
- Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
- If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
- Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
- Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
And the number one way to defeat allergies according to Web MD “12 Natural Ways to Defeat Allergies” is:
Shut Out Breezes
It’s a gorgeous day. But if the pollen count is high, keep the windows and doors closed to protect your indoor air. You can also install a HEPA filter on your air-conditioning system and a flat or panel filter on your furnace.
Already Have Air Conditioning?
If you already have an Air Conditioner, make sure you schedule annual maintenance to have the system cleaned and checked. If you haven’t scheduled your Spring AC Maintenance yet, call 541-747-7445 and use Coupon Code “Allergies” to save $15 off.
Need Air Conditioning?
If you don’t have an Air Conditioner or Heat Pump system yet, call Marshall’s to ask about the different options available for your home. Its more affordable and easier than you think. There are several rebates and utility incentives available and Marshall’s also offers financing options (e.g. as low as $50 per month on approved credit). Getting relief in your home from seasonal allergy symptoms could literally be a phone call away.
Want Better Air Quality?
There are several air purifiers (some with NASA technology!) that can be installed directly into your furnace/AC system in addition to smaller plug-in wall units available for single rooms that are less bulky than the larger units you buy at the store. Bigger isn’t always better.
You can also use a thicker, 4-5” high-efficiency media filter to provide better air filtration in your furnace and to help reduce the frequency of you filter changes. Additionally, you can opt for high-efficiency carbon (charcoal) filters to help eliminate indoor odors from pets, cooking, etc. that you usually clear out by opening windows (which you can’t do as easily during allergy season).
Call us if you have any questions or want more information about pricing and availability.
Lastly, your health and well being are important to Marshall’s. Seasonal allergy symptoms can flare up when pollen counts rise so being aware of the daily pollen count can help you take extra precautions when needed. Here are some additional links and references to help you know when pollen counts are high.
Oregon Allergy Associates in Eugene, Oregon is one of approximately 50 stations in the nation that collects pollen count data and provides it to a scientific database for the National Allergy Bureau. They have an easy to read pollen count web page that you can check regularly to see if pollens you are sensitive are high or low in our local area.
The AAAAI also offers a pollen count report on their website here.
LRAPA (Lane Regional Air Protection Agency) also has a great Air Quality Index Report for Cottage Grove, Eugene/Springfield and Oakridge which changes throughout the day as air quality changes. This report is especially helpful during wildfire season.