Pollen Blows from Highs then Lows.
The main rule of thumb to remember about pollen is that the highest stuff arrives first (tree pollen) in the late winter, followed by the stuff just above the ground (grass pollen) during the Spring and into Summer, and the pesky ground-dwellers (weed pollen) which can wreak hayfever havoc well into Autumn.
Therefore if you find that your hayfever starts very early in the Spring when it’s still a little cold, you may be allergic to tree pollen, for example.
To find the names of your local pollen producers, simply search the name of your state and the words “hayfever pollen” e.g. New South Wales hayfever pollen.
Flowers that produce insect-carried pollen are not your enemy, despite what stereotypes might suggest. It’s the pollen from trees, grass and weeds that are the main culprit, particularly those originating from the northern hemisphere.
Pollen Allergy Advice
Beware the night
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night during Spring or Summer with a sudden bout of hayfever?
If it’s not the typical 50,000 dust mites in your pillow giving you grief, then you may have left a window open somewhere in the house and a sizeable amount of pollen could be making itself a naughty nocturnal house guest.
Stay inside as much as possible at night during hayfever season, and close the windows and doors before going to bed.
Shipping containers of pollen are pushed upwards by hot air during the day, resulting in what can only be described as “hayfever rain” that falls back down to earth in the cool of night.
In rural areas the pollen can finish falling by about 10pm, however in city and built-up suburban areas where there is much more ground heat, it sometimes doesn’t stop settling until mid-morning.
Watch the local pollen count
It seems awfully simple advice, but make sure you plan your Spring and Summer recreation pursuits with pollen in mind.
Let’s say your allergy skin test shows that you are allergic to ragweed pollen – your late summer Aussie hiking expedition through South-east Queensland should be cancelled in favour of enjoying the helpful sea breezes of the Gold Coast.
Keep pollen outside the car
Don’t blast yourself with pollen. It’s a car, not an allergy torture chamber. Your own little mobile house of horrors is exactly what the car will become if you drive around taking in all the different types and concentrations of pollen that are floating around outside.
By pressing the air recirculation button you may also be better protected from car pollution (photochemical smog) which is known to worsen hayfever symptoms1.
Let’s say you prime your immune system during the late winter with lots of vitamin A, C, E, zinc, selenium, quercetine, bromelain, pro-biotics, you are still diagnosed with perennial (year-round) severe allergic rhinitis and medications just don’t seem to work.
Immunotherapy uses injections (or oral drops) to gradually introduce allergens to your system so that your body ends up becoming resistant to them.
Despite traditional popularity and the large number of bee pollen products such as royal jelly, local honey and propolis, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that hayfever (a condition related to tree, grass and weed pollen allergy) can be cured or relieved from the ingestion of any kind of insect-carried flower pollen or honey.
Keep pollen off clothes, carpet and furniture
Yes the drying process is faster outside, but why invite the neighbourhood’s pollen to stick to your clothes and towels?
Keep pets clean during the pollen season, and don’t allow them access or thoroughfare through household areas – they can have excessive amounts of pollen loosely attached to their fur.
Also make sure you remove your clothes immediately after returning indoors after a decent pollen collection session, and never go to bed without washing your hair first. Gents with beards should also wash their face at least twice daily.
Get allergy tested
Armed with the knowledge of where you live, work and holiday combined with when and how you suffer, pop in for a quick and painless skin prick test or blood allergen specific IgE (RAST) test, and let the expert allergist do the rest.
The fastest route towards victory against hayfever is to know the enemy you’re up against.
Also, imagine how useful it could be to find out that you are in fact not allergic to any pollen whatsoever. It could be, say, cat dander, dust and the yeast found in bread.
Surely worth a few minutes on an allergy test.
Buy a pollen killer
Blast the hayfever nasties from the air with a specially designed ioniser – you’ll be glad you bought one.
Sharp’s Plasmacluster is a particularly effective one. It creates natural + and – ions which attach to and remove dust, pollen, dander, mould, viruses, bacteria and odours from the air.
The technology senses airborne bad guys automatically and fires up an ion shower matched to the level of threat, you can leave it on 24/7 to do its work for which it uses very little electricity.
Ignore any thoughts you have that these machines are just blowing air around the room.
This machine has been tested and approved by 19 scientific institutions across the US, Japan, Germany, Canada, Korea, Vietnam and China. It is also gained approval, certification and seal-of-approval endorsement from UK Allergy for removal of allergens.2,3
- Breakspear Medical Group. Allergy and environmental illness. http://www.breakspearmedical.com/files/hayfever.html, accessed July 2014.
- Sharp. Plasmacluster Air Purifier. http://www.sharp.net.au/articles/air-purifiers/approved-institutions/, accessed July 2014.
- Sharp. Plasmacluster Air Purifier Certification from Allergy UK. http://www.sharp.net.au/articles/air-purifiers/allergy-uk-certification/, accessed July 2014