Top Allergies in the Southeast
MoldMuch of the Southeast U.S. is warm and damp, which makes it ideal for mold growth. Mold is a fungus that can grow in many different locations, but generally prefers areas that are warm, wet, and dark. This is why many basements, as well as areas in bathrooms and kitchens, often have mold growth.
The problem with mold allergies is not exactly the mold itself, but the spores that are released by mold. Mold releases spores; millions of them and these spores are so light they can float in the air.
If spores land in the right location (one that has moisture and the right temperatures) they are able to grow into more mold colonies. While mold is certainly hardy enough to grow in any region of the country, it’s a significant concern for areas of the Southeastern United States where there is higher humidity levels and warm temperatures, ideal conditions for mold. Coastal areas that rarely experience low temperatures are common places for mold to grow.
How to Avoid Mold AllergiesAvoiding mold allergies requires combatting the mold itself, and there are many steps you can take to keep mold from becoming an issue in your home. The first thing you need to do, however, is to find out if mold is growing in your home. Start by checking the basement, especially corners of the basement where little light shines. Check underneath sinks in the kitchen and bath, and check any areas where there could be lingering moisture. If you find mold, you’ll know exactly where to start.
The next step is to remove the mold that is already present. While you can hire a professional mold-cleaning team, the mold can often be removed with a little effort and the right equipment and materials. There are many different cleaning solutions that you can use, including diluted vinegar, bleach, or other cleaning solutions. Using a scrub brush and rag, you can remove the mold so your walls and floors are free of this unpleasant fungus.
Once the mold is removed, you need to take steps to ensure it doesn’t come back. Start by making sure the relative humidity levels stay below 50%, especially the basement.
By using a dehumidifier, you can actively remove water from the air, which is an important way to prevent mold growth. If any water is spilled or leaked make sure it is cleaned quickly.
An air conditioning and heating unit will also help to keep your humidity levels low.
UV-C light can also be effective for preventing mold. UV light is able to destroy the DNA in organic matter, so any mold spores exposed to UV light may be unable to create new mold colonies. A common approach is to install UV lamps in areas that are prone to have standing water that are not easily accessible like air ducts.
Tree PollenOf all the allergens found in the southeastern United States, tree pollen may be the most common. Pollen is a fine powder that is created by trees and grasses, as well as flowers and weeds. Pollen is used for reproduction, and it fertilizes plants of the same species.
Unfortunately, many of us experience adverse effects when we breathe in pollen. Our immune system basically goes into overdrive if we have tree-pollen allergies. When the pollen is inhaled, our immune system identifies the substance as a threat and creates a response that is above and beyond what is really needed. The result is that we experience sneezing, stuffy noses, and watery eyes when they come into contact with pollen.
Some people in the Southeast have pollen allergies throughout the year, while others only experience a problem when there are high concentrations of a certain type of pollen. For example, if you have an allergy to birch pollen, you will have increased symptoms during the spring when birch trees release their pollen. These symptoms are similar to what is experienced during hay fever or ragweed season.
How to Avoid Allergies Caused by Tree PollenTo avoid these pollen allergies, you first need to avoid exposure to your allergen. When pollen counts are high, try to avoid outdoor activity, as this may make your symptoms worse. Pollen can be released all through the year, but many trees release pollen in the spring, so you may want to avoid activities during this season.
Another strategy you should use is to understand what specific trees are causing your allergic reactions. Tree pollen comes from many different species, and you may have an allergic reaction to one but not another.
It’s even more likely that, while all trees cause some allergic reactions, certain types cause more severe or prolonged reactions than others. It's also important to know when that tree releases its pollen as that is when you will want to limit your time outside.
Common trees that cause allergic reactions include ash, birch, cedar, cottonwood, elm, hickory, oak, and willow trees, among many others. Some people assume that the most allergic-inducing trees are the ones with bright flowers, but this is not the case. Trees with bright, colorful flowers, such as apple and cherry trees, have pollen that is heavy and sticky (so it sticks to pollenating bugs like bees) and doesn’t cause as many allergies because their pollen is not floating in the wind in high concentrations.
If you have tree allergies, try to avoid being outside for too long on warm and windy days. Wind picks up dry pollen, so pollen concentrations are usually higher on these days.
If you have an allergic reaction to tree pollen, you may want to remove certain trees and replace them with less-allergenic plant life.
This can be somewhat unhelpful however if it is windy outside, the airborne particulates can be blown for miles so you will be exposed to allergens from sources miles away.
Grass PollenWhile people sometimes think hay fever is caused by flowers, this is not the case. In most situations, seasonal allergies are caused by grass pollen, one of the most common allergens in the Southeast.
Grasses typically start growing in the early spring, but they don’t release their pollen until the late spring or the summer. During this time, most allergy sufferers will experience the most severe and consistent symptoms, which include sneezing, wheezing, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, and irritated throat.
Also known as ragweed, this pollen is from a variety of grasses. It can be from the grass or weeds in your yard or wild grasses. Some of the most common types include Bermuda, Johnson, Kentucky, and orchard grasses.
Grass pollen is microscopic and extremely light, which makes it able to float on a gentle breeze and be carried for miles and miles. You won’t see grass pollen in the air, but, if you are allergic, you certainly feel its results.
How to Avoid Allergies Caused by Grass PollenDuring the grass-pollination season of late spring to late summer, it can be extremely difficult to control your allergies. However, if you don’t want to spend the entire day sneezing and coughing, you need to take measures that will limit your exposure to grass pollen and help control allergic symptoms if they come up.
During ragweed season, try to avoid extensive activity outside, especially during dry, windy days. During dry and windy days, there tends to be a higher concentration of pollen and other airborne allergens, so you will inevitably suffer from more allergy symptoms.
If you are working in your yard, wear a mask to reduce the amount of particles you breathe in. During the fall allergy season pay attention to how you feel when raking and bagging leaves as you may come into contact with ragweed pollen.
When you come inside, take a shower and put on clean clothes. You will want to make sure you take your shoes off so the pollen is not tracked throughout your home. If you don't wash your face and hair you will continue to breathe in the allergens, especially as you try to sleep.
You should also try to avoid certain foods that may contain proteins that are similar to the proteins found in pollen. Certain fruits and vegetables, including celery, melons, oranges, tomatoes, and peaches can cause allergies in some people who suffer from hay fever. Avoiding these foods may help alleviate your hay-fever symptoms by reducing your overall exposure to allergens.
You might also consider allergy testing. Allergy testing is a way to see what allergens give you problems so you can accurately target your symptoms. If you have allergies and asthma, you’ll want to be particularly careful to make sure you are treating allergies properly and controlling your reactions.
Top Air Purifiers for Preventing Allergies in the SoutheastTo prevent allergies, it helps to have an air purifier that will control many of the particles that are causing an allergic reaction. For example, if you have an allergic reaction to pollen, you need an air purifier that will help control airborne pollen inside your house. Likewise, if you have an allergy to mold spores, you need an air purifier that is able to effectively trap and destroy mold spores, which will keep mold from growing in the future.
Air Purifiers for Pollen: mod HEPA Air PurifierIf you want a powerful and efficient air purifier for your home, the mod HEPA air purifier is one of the best choices you can make. This purifier has all the features you need to remove a high amount of pollen during the spring and fall, but it can also be counted on to remove all types of allergens all through the year.
One of the main reasons this air purifier is so effective for pollen is the MERV17 HEPA filter. With this filter, the purifier is able to remove up to 99.6% of particles, which makes it better than the minimum requirements for a HEPA filter.
This is one of the strongest air purifiers in our selection, but it is surprisingly quiet and efficient, which makes it better for use in bedrooms while you sleep. With simple controls and an easy-to-understand interface, this air purifiers allows you to remove pollen so you can feel better through the next round of seasonal allergies.
Find the Right Air Purifier for Mold and Pollen in Your HomeContact our knowledgable staff today and we’ll help you choose the right purifier for your home or office.
With purifiers for pollen, mold, dust mites, and many other airborne particulates, we have the right products for your specific needs!