Allergies: Be ready when the season arrives

Archive, May, Month

Knowing your allergies is the best way to prepare for the season.

Education is the best way to limit the often-stifling symptoms allergies bring about in countless people every year during the annual allergy season.

Allergies are straightforward to understand. Simply put, allergies are the body’s immune response to a usually harmless foreign body. They can be foods, pollen, dust or other substance typically found around the house or in nature.

Symptoms can range — in both type and severity — and, in today’s world of heightened awareness to any symptoms, can mirror COVID-19. But there are ways to mitigate allergies’ effect on you.

The first step is knowing exactly what it is you’re allergic to.

Determine your exact allergies

With the different types of pollen, one might suffer from tree pollen but remain unaffected by grass, weed or ragweed pollens. Tests can determine which allergens affect you.

Know your location's seasons

Pollen allergy seasons in southeast Michigan do not align with those in other parts of the country, such as California, Florida and others. Familiarize yourself with your location's seasons and pollens.

Watch the pollen and allergy counts

Local news weather broadcasts announce which allergens are predicted to be high that day. Pay attention to the morning weather reports to see which are predicted to be a higher risk that day.

Limit exposure during high pollen times

Pollen is highest during 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. during its season. Try to limit being outdoors at that time, if possible. If it's a hot, dry, windy day, keep windows closed to avoid having pollen blown inside. Best time for outdoor activities is following a heavy rainfall. Wear sunglasses when outside.

Wash off pollen when exposed

Upon returning indoors, immediately wash your face and hands to remove pollen from your body. If possible, change clothing as well. Before going to bed, bathe and shampoo hair to avoid spreading pollen to sheets and bedding. Wash bedding once a week in hot water.