Allergy Season in Edmonton
Did you know that Edmonton is one of the worst Canadian cities, when it comes to allergies? The spring months typically bring the highest amount of allergens. We break down a few need-to-know facts on combatting allergy season in Alberta!
What are allergies?
An allergy is a chronic condition involving an abnormal reaction to an ordinarily harmless substance called an allergen. Allergens can include aeroallergens such as dust mite, mold, and tree weed and grass pollen, as well as food allergens such as milk, egg, soy, wheat, nut or fish proteins. While there’s no cure for allergies, there are a number of things you can do to curb your symptoms while outside.
- Avoid going outside on dry, windy days as they often have the highest pollen counts.
- Mornings typically have the highest pollen concentrations with the highest concentrations before 10am. That’s a good excuse to sleep in!
- Love the Rain: Raindrops wash pollen to the ground, so put on the raincoat and enjoy that spring rain smell!
- Know the Pollen Count: There are a number of places, both on TV and online, to check the pollen count. Find one that you trust; some are more reliable than others. Use this information to help you decide when to spend time outdoors.
- Consider the use of antihistamines, decongestants and nasal rinses to minimize the effects of seasonal allergies.
Tips to Combat Allergies:
- Go Shoeless: Leave your shoes, and the pollen they’ve accumulated, at the back door
- Shower at Night: Washing your hair before bed will prevent you from sleeping in pollen that it has collected during the day.
- Close-Up: Shut the windows on dry, windy days and crank them back open when it’s rainy and humid to get the fresh air in.
- Filters: Get a HEPA filter for your furnace and change it often. Even if you don’t need heat, circulate air through the filter.
- Recirculate: In your vehicle, set your dial to re-circulate air during the worst pollen days.
- Medications: There are a multitude of over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants available. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist to discuss what over the counter medication would be best for you.
There’s no escaping pollen in the spring. Even if the trees you see close by don’t appear to be producing pollen, chances are other trees are. Pollen caught in an air current can travel thousands of kilometres just for us to breath it in. Allergens are present all year round—in the Spring, it’s all about tree pollen while Summer brings grass pollen! What matters most is each person’s individual allergies, it can be beneficial to get tested by an allergist to see what your triggers may be.