Allergy Season in Alberta

 

As much as we all enjoy winter fun and the many activities that come along with the snow, the first signs of Spring are usually celebrated among Albertans.

As much as we all enjoy winter fun and the many activities that come along with the snow, the first signs of Spring are usually celebrated among Albertans. One aspect of Spring that some people don’t look forward to however, is the beginning of allergy season.

 

Since allergy season also overlaps the end of cold & flu season, here are some helpful hints about how to get through the seemingly never-ending sneezes and sniffles.

First of all, make sure you in fact have an allergy, and not a cold.

SymptomAllergy?Cold?
Cough
Rarely causes coughing
Coughs are common
Sneezing
Sneezing is common
Sneezing is common
Fever
Fever is unusual
Rarely causes fever
Nasal discharge
Watery and clear
Thick and coloured
Duration of symptoms
Weeks to months
Usually a week
If you want to know how to battle the season of the sniffles, see your doctor or pharmacist to determine a course of action; which may include non-sedative antihistamines, saline nasal sprays or using a Neti Pot.

If your allergies are more severe than just a sneeze, your doctor may send you for further testing in the form of a skin test (skin prick, intradermal or skin patch) or blood test to pinpoint the cause of your reaction.

In the meantime, enjoy the warmer weather, since we all know that the snow will be flying again soon enough.

If you do suspect that you have an allergy, here are some tips from Alberta Health Services on how to deal with them:

  • Fight the pollen – by checking the pollen count on www.theweathernetwork.com, taking your shoes and coat off before coming indoors, and washing your hands.
  • Pass the mower – if grass is a trigger for you, take this opportunity to pass the torch, or the mower, on to someone else.
  • Avoid the clothesline – air drying your clothing is great for cutting down on electricity usage, but pollen can attach to your laundry, potentially putting you face-to-face with a pillow case full of pollen.
  • Don’t stop to smell the flowers – flowers are beautiful, but be careful of what you choose as some may produce excess pollen that could aggravate allergies.
  • Beware of the snow mould – this isn’t actually mould on the snow, but on the grass after the snow has melted. If you have pink or grey ‘spider webs’ on your grass after a melt, you probably have snow mould. This is a common allergy in people, and the only thing you can do once you have it is wait until the grass dries out. For more information on how to prevent snow mould go to the Alberta Health Services page.

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