How to Reduce Your Exposure to Pollen

Pollen is the cause of many seasonal allergies. It is not possible to completely avoid pollen but there are some simple things that you can do to reduce your overall exposure to it and to help reduce allergic reactions. This article provides some methods to assist you.


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    Know the times of the year when pollen is most likely to be a problem. Pollen count increases from mid-spring and through summer. Different trees, grasses and blooms can be an irritant at different times of the year, so knowledge of your local plant life is essential. If you live in the southern hemisphere, watch for higher pollen count during October to March for grasses and August to March for tree pollens. Some TV stations now provide warnings on the pollen count; use this information to your advantage.
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    Find out if you have pollen allergies. Your runny nose and watery eyes are telling you yes but it can be helpful to get some professional confirmation on the actual types of pollens that aggravate your immune system. You can have a skin prick test to determine which grass or tree pollen or pollens might be bringing on your allergic reactions. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive means for finding out; ask your local health professional for advice.
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    Try to stay indoors when the wind is high. Wind carries pollen very long distances and very quickly. This means that even if there are no trees or grasses in your local area that might be the cause of your allergy, wind can bring the pollen in from far away. For example, Silver Birch pollen is very small and is easily transported for long distances.
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    Try to stay indoors until midday when the pollen to which you are allergic is at its height. This will help to reduce your exposure to pollen during the day.
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    Keep the windows closed and the air-conditioning on. Getting to and from work, school or anywhere else by car provides you with a great bubble that can insulate you from outside pollen. Unfortunately, this is also an additional financial cost, so only use this method during the height of the pollen season. Alternatively, have a new and efficient air filter added to your air intake, so that you can use outside air to circulate around the car.
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    Keep the grass low. Mow the lawn regularly to discourage the growth of flowers.
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    Wear sunglasses that fit well. This can help to keep pollen from landing in your eyes and irritating them.
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    Clean up the garden. If your garden contains any allergy culprits, consider removing, pruning or removing the blooms.
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    Avoid going to places where the pollen count will be higher, such as gardens, parks and ovals. If you have to attend a garden wedding at the height of the pollen season, take anti-histamine products as prescribed by your health professional before you go.
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    Always change your clothes and take a quick shower after arriving home at the end of the day. This will remove pollen from your skin and hair so that you are not leaving it around the house. Wash worn clothes promptly. And don't forget that a cat or dog will bring in pollen on their fur; make it a rule to give a regular brush and vacuum up any particles off the floor in the brushing zone.
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    Do not sleep with unwashed hair. The pollen in your hair will attach to the pillow and as you move in your sleep, you will breathe in the pollen. Change your pillowcase often.
    • If you aren't vain, a dust mask helps on days when pollen is low or moderate.


  • It is always best to discuss your allergies with a health professional rather than trying to self-medicate. You may be missing out on the best remedy if you don't ask.
  • If you are in a job that requires constant contact with pollen, e.g., a gardener, a park attendant, a biologist etc., see your health professional for ongoing treatment.
  • Sometimes, if you are in a bedroom facing a garden or an allergy-producing tree, it can help to swap bedrooms with a family member or flatmate who does not have such problems. It will help to reduce the exposure when you let fresh air into your room.

Things You'll Need

  • Pollen allergy assessment
  • Shower
  • Ability to stay indoors during peak pollen periods
  • Sunglasses
  • Medication if prescribed by your health professional

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Categories: Featured Articles | Allergies and Immunization | Asthma