If you are a victim of allergies, then you know how annoying the runny nose, the red itchy eyes, the dry hacking cough, and the scratchy throat can be. With the coming of fall, ragweed, in particular, is a major allergy nightmare. But, there is some hope for allergy sufferers.
The allergic reaction ( basically a misguided immune system response ) is an inflammatory reaction of your body to some foreign substance ( particularly pollen ), certain animal dander, dusts, or molds. when it affects the membranes lining the eyes or nose, it produces hay fever ( allergic rhinitis.) When it affects the bronchial tubes, it produces asthma.
Wind-pollinated plants such as grasses, weeds, and trees that produce massive amounts of powdery, easily-inhaled pollen - with repeated exposure - produce some of the worst allergic reactions. Insect-pollinated flowers, vegetables, and even pine trees have such large and sticky pollen that they are not allergy problems.
In addition to all the grasses and weeds ( particularly ragweeds, pigweeds and kochia), the other major allergens are large shade threes like elms, oaks, maples, pecans, mulberries, and cottonwoods. Fortunately, pollination take place for only a few weeks and most people are only allergic to one or two trees. During this time it is recommended that allergic patients stay inside or wear a protective mask and take medication during the time of pollination.
Molds and fungi are other major allergens. Wherever there is an abundance of moisture, organic matter and warmth, these organisms will continually release their allergenic spores into the atmosphere. Most molds occur in rotting vegetation such as piles of leaves or compost heaps.
Mowing the lawn can create a sever problem for allergy sufferers as the grass produces grass particles, grass pollen, and molds that are circulated into the air. To reduce the allergy stress, homeowners may need to hire a lawn maintenance company, and, at the very least, wear a good allergy dust / pollen mask. You may also need to cancel mowing chores on hot, windy days, instead working when it is lightly misting, since most plants do not pollinate when it rains. Sometimes rain showers can promote the spread of mold spores so be careful if you are mold-sensitive.
It is important for allergy sufferers to be examined and tested by a allergist to determine what you are sensitive to and learn about what you need to avoid. You need to obtain information of the average dates and plants that pollinate so that you can plan the best and worst times to work outside. Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirt, hat, and goggles. Be sure to take a shower immediately after working outside. Put your clothes in the washer right away.
Medication is also available that can be taken once or twice a day. Consult your allergist on the best approach for your allergies. Eye drops and nose sprays are also available to help control irritation.
Another form of allergy treatment is vaccination therapy or allergy shot. This therapy must be administered by a board-certified allergist who has examined you and can explain the possible risks and benefits.
With a few preventative measures, your yard can become a pleasure to work and play in rather than an allergy nightmare.
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