Spring is a joyous time of year for most. The weather warms up, the days are longer and the flowers are in bloom, but for some, springtime is the most dreaded time of year due to the rising pollen count.
Hay fever and springtime allergies are a serious annoyance and debilitating reality for many people. It’s estimated to affect around 13 million people in the UK and can affect people of any age. Hay fever doesn’t have a cure, so sufferers have to make do with medicines to curve symptoms and taking steps to minimise their exposure to pollen. If you or those in your employment suffer from hay fever, there are steps you can take to reduce pollen exposure in the workplace:
Keep Windows Closed
The best way to reduce hay fever symptoms is to reduce the risk of pollen getting into the air around you. If possible, keep windows and doors shut during the day to keep the pollen outside. Dry, windy days are the worst for spreading pollen, so make sure those windows stay closed. If the office starts to get too warm, consider air conditioning to keep cool instead.
Monitor the Pollen Count
Check online or with your local news station to get the daily pollen count. When you see that the forecast is for a high pollen count, you can start taking allergy medication before your symptoms start and plan to stay indoors. Whilst you may want to take precautions every day, this can be tiring and frustrating. By checking the pollen count you’ll know when you are most at risk, and on low pollen count days you can let up a bit and enjoy the springtime.
Pollen can get into buildings on people’s clothes and skin, and if you’re working in a building in close proximity with other people, a lot of pollen is going to be dropped on the floors. If you’re not doing so already, make sure the cleaners are thoroughly vacuuming every day to clear away that pollen and dust that could trigger allergies.
Use a Dehumidifier
If mould is a trigger for your allergies, making sure the air inside stays dry is the best way to prevent it from growing. There should be working extractor fans in bathrooms with showers to prevent bathroom mould, but if you want to go that extra mile you can invest in a dehumidifier for the office. It will help remove moisture from the air to keep it clean and prevent mould growth.
During spring, our clothes and hair become covered in pollen just from walking around outside. To help prevent bringing pollen into the home, it’s a good idea to get changed when you get in from work, and even wash your hair. Put your pollen-covered clothes in a washing basket or a bag away from any bedding or clean clothes so the pollen can’t transfer. Keeping pollen to a minimum in the home is the most efficient way to combat allergies.
Use Over-the-Counter Medications
When pollen avoiding tactics don’t work, or it’s not good enough, you may need to invest in a range of medication. Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling and itching by lowering the amount of histamine in your body – the chemical that is released when our bodies are trying to attack the allergens, mistaking them as dangerous.
Decongestants shrink the blood vessels in the nasal passageways to relieve congestion and swelling. Nasal sprays can also be used to help clear clogged nostrils, and eye drops can be used to alleviate itchy, watery eyes. You may have to try out different kinds of medication to figure out what works for you, or you may need to visit your doctor if none of these medications work.
Keep Air Conditioner Air Ducts Clean
If your workplace has an air conditioner, this is a great way to keep cool in the warmer months, especially if you’re keeping those windows closed. However, dirty air filters can be detrimental to hay fever sufferers. Dust and pollen caught in the filters will be circulating through the air and will trigger allergy symptoms in sufferers. Make sure your air conditioning unit is being regularly serviced and that the air ducts are kept clean. Air ducts should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 5 years, however, if you or any of your employees suffer from allergies, you may want to do this every year during the spring.
At Heritage Heating and Cooling, we specialise in industrial air conditioning and industrial heating. If you have any questions about air conditioning units or heaters, please do not hesitate to contact us.