Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday 13

What's the pollen count in your area? According to, the air I'm breathing in is dusty with pollen, a big ol' 10, with oak, maple and birch trees being the main instigators.

I have asthma and I am allergic to all three of those trees. So here's a list of 13 tips to help you breathe better when the sneezes start.

1. Stay inside. I tend to stay inside all day, but pollen counts usually peak between 5:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.. They are also higher on dry, hot, windy days. If your local weather forecaster says it's a bad day to be outside, heed his or her advice.

2. If you must go out, do it in late afternoon.

3. The best time to go out is after a rain.

4. Keep your windows closed both in your car and in your home. Try to purchase an automobile with a changeable cabin air filter - this helps keep the dust and pollen out of the car's interior. Also be sure your car air conditioning is on the "use the inside air" mode that most new vehicles have so that you are not pulling outside air into the car.

5. Use air conditioning instead of window and/or attic fans.

6. Take off your shoes before you go in the house. If you've been outside a while, you may want to take off your clothes, too. You can bring the pollen indoors with you.

7. Wash your pets frequently or keep them inside because they can also transport pollen indoors.

8. Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer and do not hang them outside. Pollen will collect on the clean clothing and negate the benefit of washing.

9. If you can, have someone else mow the yard. If you have to do it, wear a mask. If you are very sensitive, you may need to mow in long sleeves and long pants to keep from breaking out in a rash.

10. Choose ground covers that do not produce pollen, such as Irish moss. (I suppose if you could afford it, there is always artificial turf.)

11. Trees around your house should be the kind that do not aggravate allergies. These include crape myrtle, dogwood, palms (they don't grow well in my area), or willow trees.

12. Take a shower in the evening. Washing the pollen off before you go to bed is the best way to ensure that you're not breathing in something that will aggravate your health for the duration of the night. (During bad pollen days, I take fast 3-minute showers twice a day. Once in the morning to get rid of bed-head and to wake up, and another at night to get rid of pollen. I use a timer so I don't waste water.)

13. Lastly, make sure you change the bed linens no less than weekly and wash the sheets in hot water. If you have had the windows open in your home, at the least you should run the bedspread and any blankets through the dryer weekly to lessen dust and pollen build-up. Washing them is better but that can be difficult to do at home every week, especially if you have a heavy coverlet or comforter.

Finally, if your allergies are severe and you find yourself wheezing, sneezing, or otherwise in need of medical care, see your doctor. Prevention helps but can only go so far if, like me, you are sensitive to everything that blooms. If you have asthma, you may need prescription inhalers and information on how to use a peak flow meter to ensure that you're getting enough air. Asthma is not something to ignore as it can be life-threatening.

For more information, check out these links, or do a search on the internet for your specific concern:


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 444th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. 


  1. Thanks. I needed this post. I’ve been struggling with allergies this spring. :)

  2. I just got on claritin for the first time. After being sick earlier in the month, my immune system never bounced back and I've had re-ooccuring sore throats from post nasal drip, I guess. I think I've had seasonal allergies for years but have been in denial that the natural world could hurt me could hurt me and I just didn't identify with it. Guess I'll get tested.

  3. gorgeous tees though the Claritin Queen

  4. 10.5 pollen count here today, with maple, birch and alder being the worst offenders. Put a package out for pickup earlier and my eyes started watering as soon as I opened the door. My T13

  5. What a lot of work. I am so glad most of my allergies are of the food variety.

  6. Yep. The pollen has been thick this year, visible to the naked eye as it floats through the air. I had a couple of really bad weeks with it, but have felt better about the past 2 days. I just tried to stay indoors as much as possible.


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