Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Respiratory

Outdoor Allergens (7383)

Outdoor Allergens (7383) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Respiratory


Outdoor Allergens

An allergen is something in your environment that can cause allergy symptoms of
sneezing, itchy watery red eyes, runny nose and nasal congestion.

Outdoor allergens have certain seasons of the year when they are present. Pollen and
mold spores are carried by the wind. Some pollen can travel hundreds of miles. This is
why warm, dry, and windy weather often increases allergy symptoms. Since pollen and
mold are carried by the wind, it will not help to remove plants or trees in your yard.

Outdoor Allergen Seasons in Wisconsin

ξ Tree pollen occurs from April through early June.
ξ Grass pollen occurs from mid May through June.
ξ Ragweed pollen occurs August through September. Common weed pollen
increases in the late summer into the fall months. Peak time for ragweed pollen
is usually about the time that school begins in the fall.
ξ Mold spores can appear in the early spring, but peak in warmer, humid months,
such as July through October. Mold spores may be present until there is full
snow cover.

Steps to Limit Pollen and Mold Exposure

ξ Keep windows closed and use air conditioning.
ξ Stay indoors when the pollen or mold counts are reported as high.
ξ Wear a pollen mask if going outdoors is unavoidable or if performing yard work.
ξ Avoid mowing lawns or raking leaves---those activities will stir up pollen and
ξ Avoid hanging laundry outside to dry. Pollen and molds can cling to laundry and
be brought indoors.
ξ Shower and change clothes after you have been outdoors for a long time. Pollen
and mold can be easily carried indoors on clothes and hair. This also includes on
pets, such as cats and dogs, who should be bathed more often during pollen
ξ Think about taking a vacation during high pollen seasons and travel to an area
with less pollen.

Treating Outdoor Allergy Symptoms:

Medicines can help allergy symptoms. These medicines can include:
ξ an antihistamine (helps runny/itchy nose/eyes, sneezing)
ξ a nose spray (helps nasal stuffiness)
ξ an eye drop (helps itchy eyes).

It is important to take the allergy medications as prescribed by your health care

, P P X Q R W K H U D S \ R U D O O H U J \ ‡ V K R W V · P D \ E H X V H G I R U F K L O G U H Q D Q G adults who continue to
have allergy symptoms even while taking allergy medicines.

Information on outdoor allergens is offered through the National Allergy Bureau (NAB)
at: www.aaaai.org

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and
call if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check
with your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any
medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor
or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call
911. Copyright ©1/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7383.