Gardening with Spring Allergies? It’s Possible!

If you’ve ever looked at your neighbor’s well-manicured garden peppered with pollen-filled flowers and grimaced at the thought of a looming allergy attack—fear not! There is a way to have a green thumb without sneezing yourself silly.

By monitoring the weather, and choosing the most opportune times of day to garden outside, you can lower your chances for an allergic reaction. Try to avoid dry, hot, windy days when high concentrations of pollen circulate through the air. Additionally, pollen counts can soar after a standalone day of heavy rain, so be mindful of post-rain environments.

To practice good habits, keep these four T’S in mind when planning to garden your outdoor oasis:

1.    Time 

Experts suggest choosing rainy, cloudy or windless days. Additionally, try to garden in the cooler hours of the day, such as late afternoon or early evening.  However, peak pollen times may vary in your region, depending on the type of plants, weather and overall agricultural of the area. It is best to identify which allergens may cause a reaction for you and determine when that plant may be flourishing in your region. To best determine the cause of your allergy symptoms, speak with an allergist who might be able to recommend long-term treatment options.

 

2.    Type

Choosing an alternative to plants that produce wind-borne pollen will make gardening less of a hazard. Insect/bird-pollinated plants have larger, heavier pollen that is carried by insects and birds from plant to plant, rather than the wind. Experts suggest this kind of pollination makes it much less likely to cause an allergic reaction. According to the American Academy of Allergies & Immunology, certain flowers, trees and grasses are better for gardeners with allergies. These allergy-friendly plants include:

·      Cactus

·      Cherry Tree

·      Dahlia

·      Daisy

·      Geranium

·      Hibiscus

·      Iris

·      Magnolia

·      Rose

·      Snapdragon

·      Tulip

 

3.    Touch

When gardening outside, try to avoid touching your face or eyes. Wearing protective eye gear or sunglasses may help to reduce allergens in the eyes, which cause redness and irritation. To avoid inhaling excess allergens, a facemask may also be worn. A hat, gloves and long-sleeve shirt can all reduce skin and nose contact with pollen.  Once your gardening is complete, leave all tools and gardening shoes outdoors to avoid tracking pollen inside.

 

4.    Trust

Trust your medicine to start working for you quickly and take it before you start working outside. It is best to take a medicine that will combat irritation to the eyes and work efficiently as a histamine blocker. Any inhaled allergens could cause a scratchy throat or cough, so a cough suppressant may be beneficial as well, like those found in DayClear Allergy.