Itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and don’t forget the sneezing; pollen allergies are infuriating!
There are over 60 million Americans who suffer from allergic rhinitis; some have it worse than others. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever occurs when allergens like pollen enter your body and start causing problems.
When pollen counts are high, you feel as if you have to hide inside. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Doing simple things like switching up your backyard plants can help you enjoy your patio, even with a pollen allergy.
What’s the secret to being outdoors with pollen allergies? Read on to find out.
- Try Using Essential Oils
The first trick to put in your allergy tool belt is essential oils, they’re magical. Essential oils are so unique; there’s almost nothing that they can’t do! These oils are great at regulating your mood improving immunity, and they can even help with combating allergies.
Allergens irritatingly stimulate your brain and body. Different essential oils will influence what area of your brain is stimulated to calm things down.
By smelling an essential oil for 5 to 7 minutes, you’ll be able to pinpoint particular olfactory nerves. In about 15 minutes, you’ll be able to feel the relieving effects on your brain. Instead of entering into a fight mode and becoming irritated, your brain will be able to unwind and loosen up.
One of the best blends for combating allergies would be to mix 2 drops of chamomile essential oil, 2 drops of lemon essential oils, and 1 drop of lavender essential oils. You can put the essential oils onto a tissue and inhale for all-day relief.
However, if you want to transform your patio space, we suggest using a diffuser. Diffusers are going to work best if your patio is also screened in.
Is it a large patio? Place 2 diffusers at opposite ends of the room. Fill them with the special allergy-fighting recipe of chamomile lemon and lavender, and let the magic begin.
In a study of 200 people, lavender proved helpful at reducing anxiety, even in extreme situations. As you calm your mind with the essential oil blend, it’ll be easier for your body to handle whatever pollen is in the air.
- How to Keep Pollen off Your Patio
Now let’s look at how to keep pollen off your patio with allergy-free gardening. With the proper gardening techniques, you’ll be able to avoid plants that irritate your allergies and choose plants that can help combat the pollen already in the air.
For instance, it’s good to go for plants with brilliant, bright flowers. Typically, bright and bold blooms are pollinated by insects instead of the wind. This means that the pollen is usually too heavy for the wind to pick it up.
If the wind can’t pick up the pollen, it’s not going to be able to irritate your allergies symptoms. You should also try choosing native plants.
For one, native plants are easier to grow since they’re already used to the climate you’re in. Also, you won’t have to worry about your native plants struggling like non-natives would, which means they will have less stress. The less stress a plant feels, the less pollen it releases, which is excellent news for your allergies.
We also suggest asking for female trees. It might sound silly, but it makes sense when you think about it.
Most of the pollen is going to come from male trees. Female trees are usually sold as fruitless or seedless, perfect for allergy suffers. The female plant won’t be releasing pollen, but you’ll still be able to enjoy a beautiful view.
- Remove High Pollen Plants
After finding the colorful plants to put into your garden, you’ll need to find out what plants you need to take out of it. Do a quick inventory of every plant that’s in your yard. Then do a little bit of research to determine if those plants are high pollen plants.
For example, ash, cedar, cottonwood, maple, and beech trees can all be chock full of pollen. Again, it has to be the male variety of those trees for the pollen to exist. You also have to watch out for all certain oak and willow trees.
As far as shrubs go, juniper and cypress shrubs are also bad for allergies. Steer clear of grasses that have a lot of pollen too. Timothy, Bermuda, rye, Kentucky bluegrass, and Johnson grasses are all pollen-heavy.
You’ll want to create a game plan to remove all of the high pollen plants from your yard. If there are a couple of high pollen plants that you absolutely love and hate the idea of getting rid of, there is a solution.
It’s risky, but you can keep the high pollen plants as long as they aren’t located anywhere near the doors or windows of your home. They should also be far away from your outdoor patio. This will help keep the pollen out of your house, and more importantly out of your lungs!
Keep in mind that whatever type of pollen your neighbor’s trees have will be getting into your backyard space. Thankfully, you can use fly screens to keep out pollen from other yards. Screened in patios are usually a must for severe allergies.
- Try the Right Allergy Medicine
Being proactive is the key to keeping allergy symptoms away. Take an allergy medicine that your doctor recommends about a week before the allergy season begins.
Some of the best allergy medicines include oral antihistamines, nasal sprays, teeth congestions, or combination medication. Antihistamines are perfect for relieving runny noses, watery eyes, and itching allergies itchy allergy symptoms.
Decongestants are excellent for allergies that impact your nasal passages. You can find direct nasal sprays that can provide almost instant results. Just don’t use the nasal sprays as a long-term solution since it can worsen your allergy symptoms.
When it comes to allergy medicine, it’s all about the timing. Often, nasal sprays will be most effective if you use them before your allergy symptoms start. You can also look for combination medications that combine decongestion and antihistamine.
- What to Wear Outside
You can only keep so much pollen off your patio. When you’re going outside with a pollen allergy, you should wear the right clothes. Long sleeves shirts and long pants will be able to save your skin from pesky allergens.
You should also wear goggles or sunglasses as well as gloves. Some people even go as far as to wear goggles to protect their eyes.
If you have severe allergies, try wearing a dust mask, too, it can help a lot. If you’re working in the garden, ensure that you’re not touching your face or your eyes since this will only exacerbate your allergy symptoms.
If it happens to be a cold day while the pollen count is high, try using a scarf to cover your mouth and nose. You’ll be able to warm the air before it gets into your lungs, making the pollen less irritating. If a scarf doesn’t work, you could use a bandana instead.
Once you’re done hanging out on your back door patio, change your clothes and take a shower. When it’s pollen season, your hair and clothes could be covered in pollen, and you wouldn’t even know it.
By taking a shower the moment you come inside and putting your clothes directly in the laundry, you’ll be able to minimize your allergies symptoms. Make sure you take a nice long shower to get all of the allergens out of your hair and skin.
- Know the Pollen Count
Do you know how to check the pollen count in your area? There are a few different websites to find the pollen count for free.
For example, you can visit the American Academy of allergy, asthma, and immunology national allergy bureau. They collect pollen and report their findings around the entire United States. Local weather websites will also be happy to say the pollen forecast.
Keep in mind that a pollen forecast is an estimate, similar to a regular weather forecast. It’s not going to be an exact prediction of exactly how much pollen is in the air.
Usually, pollen forecasters are only going to report on the most common and well-known types of pollen. If you suffer from an allergy that relates to common pollen, great! But if you suffer from an allergy that’s not common pollen, the pollen count isn’t going to give you the information you need.
Instead, pollen counts will let you know about the common problems present in your area that might trigger your allergy symptoms. You can use the forecast to help you prepare how you plan your day.
However, keep in mind that even on days when the forecast predicts low or moderate pollen counts, you still might feel allergy symptoms. What exactly are the symptoms of a pollen allergy? It’s going to be a little bit different for everyone.
However, swelling around the eyes is a significant sign that you could be dealing with the pollen problem. If you already have asthma and pollen exacerbates it, you might be dealing with allergic asthma. It’s one of the most common types of asthma.
- How to Get Rid of Pollen Triggers
You know you have a pollen allergy, but do you know exactly what you’re allergic to? By finding out exactly what type of plants trigger your allergy symptoms, you’ll be able to design an allergy-free patio setup. It’ll also be helpful for whenever you’re out and about in the great outdoors, so you can steer clear of triggering plants.
For instance, people with allergic rhinitis are sensitive to certain types of pollen. These individuals suffer the most from pollens from grasses, male trees, mold spores, and weeds.
Trees tend to release their pollen first from the late winter, moving into spring or early summer. Of course, it’s all going to depend on your location.
Grasses pollinate next, sending out their spores in late spring and again in early summer. Weeds like ragweed, which irritates a lot of allergies, suffer pollinate towards the end of summer and beginning of fall. These plants produce large amounts of pollen, and their grains are so light they can easily travel in the air.
You should be able to identify all of your allergens on site. If you know precisely which one of those you’re allergic to, you can eliminate it from your yard.
- Keep Your Patio Free of Mold Spores
Along with keeping pollen-filled plants out of your yard, you’ll also want to keep your patio nice and clean. Mold spores can be a significant allergy irritant, and they can come from all sorts of locations.
Mold spores can grow in rotting logs, leaf piles, grains, etc. When these areas are rustled or disturbed, the mold spores release into the air. It’ll be easy for anyone in the patio area to breathe in the mold spores, triggering their allergy symptoms.
By keeping your patio clean and free of debris, you’ll be able to keep mold spores away. If you want to use the most holistic cleaning product instead of harmful chemicals, try using white vinegar, citrus fruit, or baking soda.
You can put a white vinegar mix in an empty spray bottle and use it to keep your patio nice and clean. You could also add hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, or tea tree oil to create a pleasant scent. Bring the essential oils back into play too, by using a few drops of cleansing peppermint in your spray.
Lead a Fulfilling Life With a Pollen Allergy
Now you know how to enjoy the outdoors with a pollen allergy. Staying symptom-free is all about being proactive and aware of the allergens that upset your body.
Take a few minutes today to inventory all of the plants in your yard. Find out what plans are triggering your allergies, and work towards eliminating them right away! Then start adding in allergy-friendly plants, so you can have the perfect garden and patio.
You deserve to feel great, and we’d love to help. Read another blog post for more feel-good tips.