You might know it as hay fever. Allergic rhinitis burdens around three million people of all ages every year. Its symptoms include red, watery, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Spring hits sufferers especially hard as trees begin to pollinate and flower. What kinds of trees aggravate allergic rhinitis?
It doesn't take much tree pollen to set your allergic rhinitis into overdrive. According to WebMD, tree pollen tends to be very fine and powdery, with the wind carrying that those fine particulates for miles. Here's some especially voracious pollen makers:
- Elm: American Dutch Elm--prevalent in the eastern and midwestern United States
- Maple: Ash Leaf Maple--worst; Red, Silver, and Sugar Maples have a more moderate impact; prevalent in the eastern and midwestern United States and Canada
- Pecan: prevalent in the west southeastern United States, northern Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio
- Birch: prevalent in the midwestern and eastern United States
- Mountain cedar: prevalent in Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
- Oak: this mighty tree is prevalent in the plains states as well as in the eastern United States
- Arizona Cypress: prevalent in the southwestern United States
WebMD adds that these other trees can quickly send you off in search of antihistamine and tissues: ash, aspen, beech, box and mountain elder, cottonwood, hickory, and willow.
How Do You Reduce Tree Pollen Impact?
There are several ways to reduce the amount of pollen that you breathe. The worst time to be outdoors running or walking your dog is between 5am and 10am. Pollen is at its peak during this time. Don't sleep with your windows open and don't open your windows during peak pollen times. If you're driving to work, keep your windows and car vents closed so you won't be breathing in pollen. Sneezing while driving can remove your gaze from the road. Wait to mow your lawn until later in the morning or in the afternoon. Allergic rhinitis can be more than a nuisance. It can make you miserable, bring on headaches and aggravate asthma.
Most of the time, simple over-the-counter antihistamines can help alleviate symptoms. Some people find that a decongestant also helps, but for those sensitive to antihistamines with decongestant, consult your doctor or allergist before taking as it can affect your heartbeat. Steroid nose sprays can also help unblock allergic rhinitis. They work by shrinking nasal membranes so that you can breathe easier.
You can't avoid your trees and the allergens that they produce completely. But you can keep windows closed, stay inside during peak pollen hours, and find temporary relief with medications. These are just a few simple tips to keep your spring a little brighter and your allergic rhinitis a little less aggravating. For more information, visit websites like http://www.nwasthma.com.