Outdoor Seasonal Allergies
Enjoy more of the great outdoors by learning about common seasonal allergy triggers and finding out how you can help reduce your exposure to them.
Because they change with the seasons, outdoor allergies are often called seasonal allergies. An allergy is a sensitivity of your immune system to something that is ordinarily harmless. Seasonal allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to certain allergens found outside, like those from mould spores and tree, grass or weed pollens.
While seasonal allergens can be difficult to avoid because it seems like they’re everywhere, there are things you can do to help minimize your exposure to them.
SEASONAL ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
Itchy, Watery Eyes
Allergy testing by an allergist can confirm whether your symptoms are caused by pollen, mould or another substance.
Prevention Tips for Pollen Allergy Sufferers
BEAT THE CLOCK
Pollen counts are typically highest from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and at dusk, so try to plan outside activities for other times of the day.1
Wear an inexpensive painter's mask when you're working in the garden or doing other outside chores.
MAKE A CHANGE
Pollen spores can hitch a ride on your shoes, clothing and hair and get tracked inside. After spending time outdoors, be sure to remove your shoes, take a quick shower and change your clothes to remove pollen.
CLEAR THE AIR
When driving, keep windows up and set the air conditioner on "recirculate." At home, keep windows closed and use air conditioning. Be sure to change your filters often.
Looking to plant trees on your property? Avoid hard deciduous trees that can aggravate allergies, including birch, oak, elm, maple, ash, alder and hazel. Instead go with species such as Catalpa, Crepe myrtle, dogwood, fir, or redwood trees.
Avoid planting in your yard flowers that are related to ragweed such as sunflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums. If you’re not sure what to plant, ask your local garden centre before you buy2.
Tips for Mould Allergy Sufferers
LEAVE IT OUTSIDE
Your shoes, clothing and hair can all be magnets for mould spores. Remove your shoes before entering your home and be sure to shower and change clothes right away after spending time outside. If pinched for time, at least wash your hands and face well after coming in.3
MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE RAKE
Mould spores can collect on fallen leaves. So be sure to rake your yard often. Since raking can stir mould spores into the air, wear a mask while tackling this chore. Or, better yet, enlist the help of another member of the family who isn’t allergic to mould.4
SKIP THE LINE
Bedding or clothing hung out to dry on a clothes line may pick up mould spores, along with other allergens. Use a clothes dryer instead.3
A Quick Guide to Party Planning During Allergy Season. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Spring Gardening with Allergies. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Fall Leaves Are Great for the Garden but Can Be Not So Good for Allergies. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 14, 2017.
How To Reduce Allergens In Your Yard This Fall. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Accessed December 4, 2017.