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Jax Allergy

10 Tips For Dealing With Pollen Allergies in Jacksonville

tips for dealing with pollen allergies in jacksonville

updated Feb 2024

One of the more common allergy and asthma problems we see in North Florida are our patients’ responses to pollen. Pollen is a potent allergen that consists of microscopic, grains that are released by plants, then are carried to other plants by wind as part of nature’s pollination process. When pollen is being dispersed, it can be easily inhaled into sensitive nasal passages and trigger an allergic response. When you are allergic to pollen, your body sees it as an invader and mounts a defense that can result in watering eyes, constricted airways and a runny, itchy nose.

Here in Florida, pollen can be very difficult to avoid since each type of pollen in our area is released at different times. Our pollen seasons tend to begin earlier and last longer than those in other states and can be a year-round problem. Typically, Florida’s pollen seasons are December to May for tree pollen, April to November for grass pollen and July to November for weed pollen.

While we can’t control the seasons or the amount of pollen in the air, there are some things we can do to limit the extent of our exposure and our response to it.

Jacksonville Pollen Allergies: Top 10 Tips to Control Them

Keep Windows at Home and in Cars Closed

During peak pollen times in Jacksonville, the battle against allergies often starts at home and in your car. One crucial tactic to keep pesky allergens at bay is to keep your windows firmly shut. Sure, the temptation might be there to let the fresh breeze in, but resist! Opening windows only invites pollen to infiltrate your home and car interiors, coating everything in its path. Once settled, this pollen becomes a persistent trigger for allergic reactions. Even attempting to clean surfaces could stir up the allergens, worsening your symptoms. So, seal those windows tight and create a safe haven from the pollen onslaught

Use “Recirculation” with your Car’s AC

Maximize your defense against pollen while cruising around Jacksonville by employing a simple yet effective strategy with your car’s air conditioning. Opt for the “recirculation” mode to ensure that the air circulating within your vehicle is continuously filtered, minimizing the influx of pollen from the outside environment. Moreover, when the air conditioning isn’t required, take the extra step of closing all vents. Even when the AC is switched off, these vents still permit airflow, potentially allowing pollen to infiltrate.

By sealing off these entry points, you significantly reduce the chances of pollen making its way into the interior of your car, providing a sanctuary from allergy triggers while on the road.

Keep Air Conditioning Units Serviced and Clean

Ensuring your air conditioning units are well-maintained can be a game-changer in your battle against pollen allergies. While the direct correlation between cleaning air ducts and allergy control remains inconclusive, it’s still prudent to take preventive measures. Prior to the onset of allergy season, call a reputable air conditioning company in Jacksonville to clean and service your units thoroughly. Opting for a setting that recycles indoor air, akin to the recirculation mode in your car, can also be beneficial. Moreover, investing in HEPA filters to replace old ones can significantly reduce the presence of allergens in your home. By proactively maintaining your air conditioning system and incorporating these simple yet impactful adjustments, you create an environment that offers relief from allergy triggers, allowing you to breathe easier throughout the pollen-heavy months.

Pay Attention to How Much Pollen You Bring in your House

Be mindful of the amount of pollen you inadvertently bring into your home, particularly your bedroom, where you spend a significant portion of your time. Implement measures to minimize pollen intrusion by adopting simple habits. Upon returning indoors from outdoor activities, prioritize taking a shower promptly and changing your clothes to rid yourself of any pollen clinging to your skin and garments.

Additionally, pay attention to hair, as it can act as a pollen trap, especially for women with longer hair. Therefore, making it a habit to wash your hair before bedtime each night can significantly reduce the amount of pollen introduced into your sleeping environment, promoting a more restful and allergy-free night’s sleep.

Limit Your Time Outdoors in the Early Mornings

Pollen counts in Jacksonville tend to be highest in the mornings, typically between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Limit your exposure by avoiding outdoors when pollen counts are highest. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, try to schedule your outings for the afternoons instead of the mornings. If you suffer from severe pollen allergies, you might consider engaging in indoor sporting activities only during the peak of pollen season.

Avoid Tackling Lawn and Outdoor Work

Lawn mowing will stir up settled pollens, so mowing duties should be left to family members who aren’t allergic to pollen if at all possible. Wear a protective mask and eye protection while doing yard work during your pollen season. If that’s not an option, consider hiring a local lawn care and control company.

Look Out for the Pollen on Your Pets

House pets that spend time outdoors will bring pollen indoors on their fur. Be sure to wash your pets at least one or two times per week during your peak allergy season. Always keep your pets off your bed and preferably out of your bedroom altogether.

Keep Bedroom Linens Clean

You should launder your bed linens at least once a week to effectively remove any pollen that may have accumulated. Opt for a gentle, regular washing routine to ensure thorough cleansing. Additionally, be mindful of the timing and method of drying your laundry, particularly during peak pollen seasons. Although it’s not as common as it once was, you should avoid hanging clothes outdoors on a clothesline, as this can expose them to airborne pollen, which may transfer onto your linens and defeats one purpose of laundering them.

By prioritizing regular laundering and employing indoor drying methods, you create a cleaner and safer sleeping environment, conducive to managing pollen allergies effectively.

Carpets are Pollen Traps: Keep them Clean

Keep carpets vacuumed and clean. Vacuuming will remove pollen and other allergens (like pet dander) that have settled in your carpets. It would also be a good idea to steam clean your carpets at the beginning of the allergy season. Either do it yourself or have a professional Jacksonville carpet cleaning company do it for you.

Be proactive and aware!

Check the pollen reports during allergy season. This will help you prepare for your day and know what to expect. For convenience, the Jacksonville area pollen forecast is regularly posted on our website at www.JaxAllergy.com.

Allergic reactions to pollen can be a frustrating and annoying part of your life, but following these tips can help limit your immune system’s response. If you believe your symptoms are worse than normal or you aren’t sure what’s causing your reactions, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified Jacksonville Allergy Specialists.

Medical review by: Thomas Lupoli, DO