Springtime is a wonderful time of the year, with the flowers beginning to bloom, and the weather turning warmer. However, as the leaves unfurl and the grass turns green, seasonal allergies can crop up, potentially exacerbating COPD symptoms. COPD already comes with difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, but when you add on allergy symptoms, it can get pretty miserable!
Allergies are typically not serious, but more of a nuisance. However, if you are already living with a pulmonary condition like COPD, it’s worth taking extra precautions during allergy season.
Allergy season is upon us, and in some parts of the country, it starts early. In North Texas, they've started sneezing from winds blowing cedar pollen. Southerners have always had to deal with an earlier allergy season than those in the North of the United States. However, even in the north, we will start experiencing tree pollen in late February. Many of us are affected by allergies, and if you are, they can be a huge pain.
Allergies seem to be worse if you have to use oxygen therapy every day. No one wants to deal with nasal congestion, especially when you have to use a nasal cannula. If you know you'll have allergies soon, do yourself a favor and be prepared. Read ahead to learn what steps to take to avoid allergy symptoms as much as possible.
Avoid allergens when possible
If you tend to have trouble breathing on spring and rainy days, try to avoid going out during these times. You may also have to avoid parks and other natural areas during peak bloom. Pay attention to your local pollen alert and use your best judgment.
Filter your indoor air
When outdoor allergens are high, they tend to make their way inside too. Make sure you have a HEPA filtration system for your indoor air, and/or have portable oxygen concnetrator in the rooms you spend the most time in.
Clean up everything that may carry pollen
Be careful what you bring in from outside and close doors and windows as much as possible. Wipe down your shoes and jacket when you come in from the outside, and if your cat or dog comes in from the outside, do a quick wipe with a damp cloth so they don't track pollen to the rest of your house. They will most likely be lying on your bed or pillow, and you definitely don't want the pollen to find its way there.
Remove the pollen away
the same as you. At the end of the day, take a shower and wash your hair to remove any pollen that may have deposited on your hair when you were out that day. Undress and wash at the end of the day, or put them in a covered basket until you're ready to wash them.
The information on this page is for informational and educational purposes only. For more information, ask your doctor or primary care provider.