Spring is widely recognized as the most beautiful season in a year, for the temperature is pleasant, and the natural environment is transformed to a colorful world with green trees and lovely flowers. Having been kept in the house for months during the cold winter, most people would like to conduct some outdoor activities in beautiful spring days. When the gentle breeze brings us the aroma of blossoming flowers, it also takes something else that causes itchiness and allergies to susceptible groups – pollen.
Pollen is a fine powder (spores) produced and contained in the anthers of flowers. It carries male gamete that fertilizes flowers of the same species to produce seeds that carry on the family line. Different types of flowers would produce different kinds of pollens. The shapes could be spherical, spheroidic, and cubic and so forth, and the surfaces could be smooth or ornamented with various figures. Generally, the diameters of most pollen are between 20um to 50um (equivalent to human hair). The bigger ones are zingibers that are between 100um to 200um, and the smallest is Myosotis sylvatica that is as tiny as 6um only.
Pollen itself indeed is very beneficial to health if treated and used properly. For example, it is eatable and has the function of promoting sleep, enhancing physical fitness, protecting liver, preventing and controlling anemia and diabetes. It also can be treated and applied on face to maintain beauty and prevent skin aging. On the other hand, for the pollen that is carried by blowing wind and spread in the air, it has not been treated or sterilized yet and thus containing materials that cause harm to skin (especially the sensitive ones) as well as respiratory tracts if breathed in, leading to allergies. The symptoms include sneezing, running nose, itching eye, eczema, and asthma and so on.
Below summarizes some precautions for preventing pollen allergies :
If you have experienced pollen allergies before, you should remain inside the house and keep your windows closed most of time when there is high possibility that pollen could enter your house.
You may choose to have outdoor activity during the time in early morning, late at night or after a rain shower, when the pollen index is low. Noontime and sunny days are usually considered a time when the pollen concentration is highest in outdoor environment.
Turn on your air purifiers if you have one. It will keep your indoor air clean and free of many harmful materials, and of course, including pollen.
Change into clean clothes, and wash your face and hands after coming back from outdoor environment.
Wear glasses (but not the contact lenses) when going out to protect your eyes.
Wear a face mask when going out to protect your face and avoid the inhalation of pollens that cause problems to respiratory tracts.
Install a vehicle air purifier to clean the air in your car.
Try to dry your clothes indoor (a dryer would be helpful) to limit the exposure during pollen season.
Try to avoid all possible physical contacts with pollen. Pay attention to the things you eat; for example, exciting food like alcohol and mutton should be restricted. In the meantime, some food such as honey that is good for preventing allergies is recommended.
If you have a history of pollen allergies already, you may need to consult with your pharmacist for advice and use medication weeks before the blossom of flowers.
If you are unfortunately a victim of pollen allergies already, here are some advices that might be helpful:
If the allergies occur on the face, applying cold compress could help to calm the itchiness. Then, you could seek help from a doctor to do the desensitization treatment.
To prepare the cold compress, you can put a piece of paper membrane into water and keep it in the refrigerator for a certain time, after which it could be unfolded and applied on the face.
Wash your nose and other allergy areas with weak brine to alleviate the allergy symptoms.
Some food like honey and yoghourt and sufficient supplement of vitamin C are good for pollen allergy patients.
Watch out for the cosmetic and skin care products applied on your skin. No make-up is recommended when you are currently experiencing allergy symptoms.
Make sure your cleaning water is really clean and safe, and installing a water filter will help to do so.
Avoid further exposure to pollens by taking the precautions mentioned above. Getting enough sleep and properly enhancing physical exercise would help to recover faster.
To conclude, spring is a time that makes pollen allergies stand out. We hope the tips given here could effectively assist you to deal with pollen issues, and hope everyone stay safe and healthy with the beautiful blossoms!