For those who suffer from asthma or allergies, warmer weather and visits to the park can sometimes mean a runny nose, watery eyes, or difficulty breathing.
It’s time for a quick pollen lesson that will better prepare you to take control of your breathing.
Pollen grains are small particles shed by trees, grass and weeds. Wind-pollinated plants are the biggest concern for people with asthma and allergies, as they are carried by the wind and easily breathed into the nose and lungs.
Different types of pollen emerge during certain times of the year: tree pollen in spring, grass pollen in early summer, and ragweed in August until the first frost.
Don’t let pollen stop you from going out
Here are some tips to reduce your exposure to pollen while visiting your favorite provincial park:
- Check local pollen counts on weather or allergy websites.
- Plan outdoor activities for low pollen times
- Take allergy medication ahead of time, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and accessorize with a hat or headscarf to keep pollen out of your hair.
- Plan your excursions when it is cooler and less windy; after the rain is a good time to go out
- Put your clothes in the washing machine once you get in.
Keep your asthma well controlled to reduce the risk of breathing difficulties. For more information, call the Lung Association’s lung health information line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or visit their website.
Thank you to our friends at The Lung Association for providing this information and helping to sustain the Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement.