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May 28, 2015

Avoid Outdoor Asthma Triggers

Outdoor allergens increase during the springtime and can have negative effects on your asthma symptoms. Mold spores and pollen (found in blooming flowers) are two common allergens that may trigger asthma flare-ups during this season. These small particles travel through the air and when inhaled can cause allergy symptoms. 
Tree pollen (in early spring) and grass pollen (in later spring) are often the source of these asthma triggers. Mold can be found in soil, plants and rotting wood. As the weather warms up, mold spores are then released into the air.

Limit your exposure
Plan ahead for ways to avoid or reduce your exposure to outdoor allergens. For instance, keep the windows rolled up when traveling by car. Dry all clothes and linens in the dryer instead of outside on a clothesline.
Check your local forecasts for air-quality alerts before going outdoors. When mold and pollen counts are at their peak, try to:

  • Stay inside
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Use an air conditioner

Talk with your doctor if you do not have good control of your spring asthma symptoms. Allergy testing is one way to find our what triggers to avoid.

You can garden safely

Springtime triggers do not mean that yard work is off limits. Follow these tips to garden safely:

  • Keep pollen and mold spores off your body by wearing gloves and a mask and showering immediately upon coming inside.
  • Choose flowering plants known to be better for people with allergies, such as dahlias, snapdragons, tulips and roses.
  • Leave the mowing and raking to someone else. 

Plan your outdoor gardening activities when mold and pollen counts are usually the lowest. The best times are on rainy cloudy and windless days.

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