raking up fall leavesThe fall is a great time for gardening and other yard work — even better than in the spring and summer. The weather is a bit more temperate. Planting and transplanting your favorite varieties of plants, bushes, trees, and sod becomes a more relaxed activity. If you are an allergy sufferer, you may be thinking that any kind of yard work or gardening is off limits. However nothing can be further from the truth. Just like it is possible to reduce allergens in the home, it is also possible to reduce exposure to allergens around your home.

Time of day matters

Many people enjoy spending their weekend afternoons raking leaves, transplanting bushes, or planting new trees. However, for people with allergies to ragweed, the afternoon is the worst time of day for this kind of activity. The afternoon is when pollen counts can be at its highest, turning gardening into a miserable activity. It turns out that early morning and evening hours are much more comfortable for gardening for those who suffer with allergies. The weather also plays an important role in pollen count. Rain showers tend to reduce the pollen count making it safer for allergy sufferers to get to work. However, thunderstorms can cause pollen and dust to stir around in the air while stagnant puddles can breed mold.

Wear proper gardening gear

Dressing properly for garden work is important to help keep allergens from entering your nose, throat, and eyes. Wear a mask to keep pollen from entering through your nose and throat. A good pair of garden gloves can protect your hands from touching your eyes and face, transferring pollen along the way. A pair of large sunglasses can block pollen from entering your tear ducts. A hat, long pants, and long-sleeved shirt can keep pollen from sticking to your hair and skin. Keeping covered can also protect you from stinging insects that can cause anything from minor skin irritation to anaphylactic shock.

Pick trees and plants that are least likely to cause allergies

If you are buying plants and trees, you want to make sure you are not purchasing anything you are allergic to. While allergies can express themselves differently in each person, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offer this list of trees and flowers that tend to be safe for most people:

  • apple
  • dogwood
  • pear
  • plum
  • begonia flower
  • daffodil
  • lilac
  • magnolia
  • rose
  • sunflower

Don’t forget about raking your yard

Mold and pollen tend to collect on fallen leaves due to moisture. Be sure to protect your nose and mouth with a mask while raking. Ensuring that your grass is cut short will keep it from flowering and spreading pollen. When you are ready to return inside the house, be sure to leave your shoes at the door, remove your work clothes, and shower as quickly as possible. Doing so will reduce the amount of pollen transferred from the yard to inside the home.

Allergy medication can help make gardening and other yard work a much more enjoyable activity for you. Ask your allergist about taking antihistamines, nasal sprays, or even allergy shots before venturing into the outdoors.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology is a professional association of 5,700 allergists/immunologists and allied health professionals.


About RAMC: Located in Redondo Beach, CA. Riviera Allergy Medical Center (RAMC) provides a medical facility for a wide range of allergy and asthma related conditions, from nasal allergies and hay fever to skin allergy conditions and scalp eczema. If you or your children are in search of seasonal allergy relief, skin allergy treatment, sinus problems or headaches, or have shown signs of an ibuprofen allergy, you are encouraged to contact the team at RAMC. The office also may be contacted by phone at 310-792-9050.  Visit the site at http://RivieraAllergy.com

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1 Comment

    • M. Cox

      Allergens are everywhere. With this, it is important to make your home allergy free zone as much as possible. According to this article, to make one’s home free from allergens, people should learn to identify and remove known allergens. Through this way, incidence of allergy attacks can be avoided.


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