yard work
Allergies

10 Tips to Reduce Allergy Symptoms While Outside Doing Yard Work

As the weather is warming up, many homeowners are starting to work in the yard to enhance their home’s curb appeal for the spring and summer months. But with the warmer weather comes the wheezes and sneezes of allergy season. How can you spend more time outside working in your yard without the bothersome symptoms of allergies and asthma? There are plenty of ways to reduce and eliminate allergy symptoms when working outdoors. If you suffer from allergies, you don’t have to spend the spring and summer months indoors, and you don’t have to limit your yard decorating to stones and concrete.

Here are my tips:

  1. When working outdoors, wear a face mask, hat, glasses, gloves and a long-sleeve shirt to reduce skin and nose contact with the pollen.
  2. Since wood chips or mulch can retain moisture and encourage mold to grow, instead use gravel, oyster shell or special plant groundcovers (vinca and pachysandra).
  3. Ask family members who don’t have allergies to mow lawns and weed flower beds, or hire a landscaping firm.
  4. Keep grass cut low at a maximum of two inches high to help keep stems of pollen from reaching high into the wind.
  5. Be cautious about using hedges since their branches easily collect dust, mold and pollen, and keep them pruned and thin.
  6. Keep the windows in the house closed while mowing and for a few hours afterwards.
  7. Limit your gardening days to cool or cloudy days, and in the later afternoon or evening when pollen concentration in the air is generally lower.
  8. Immediately shower and change your clothes when you go back indoors and make sure to wash your hair to remove allergens trapped there. Have a space by the door where shoes can be taken off so you don’t track in pollen, dust, dirt and other allergens.
  9. Make smart landscaping choices that are less likely to contribute to wheezing and sneezing. There are many plants you can use to design your home garden including flowers, shrubs, trees and more, that will not contribute to your outdoor allergy symptoms.
  10. There are some days that asthma and allergy sufferers are better off staying inside. Always check the pollen count and smog levels in your area. When outdoor air quality is good and your yard is full of beautiful plants, grass and flowers that won’t aggravate symptoms, you can work, play and relax outside with confidence.

Robin Wilson is founder and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, author of Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle and an ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

 

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