To hear allergy experts tell it, spring is hands-down the worst season here in Canada if you suffer from allergies.
Spring allergies get worse every year and they start earlier each year. If you are currently sneezing, sniffling, itching, congested, foggy-headed or sleep-deprived—and you don’t have a virus—then it is a good bet you have spring allergies.
In fact, allergists estimated that around 30 percent of Canadians suffer annually from springtime allergy symptoms. But far fewer realize it, thinking perhaps they’ve just caught a late flu bug or a spring cold. But the symptoms linger and fail to respond to all the things you try to get rid of it.
In this post, we explain how and when spring allergies begin, which pollen is most problematic and what to do to take back your health, starting today.
Allergies in Canada: A Brief Annual Overview
Trees start to produce pollen in early spring. Among the worst (but certainly not the only) offenders are maple, willow, birch, ash, pine and oak.
This process can start as early as March and continue through May. But just when you think you might be off the hook for allergy symptoms, June arrives and the grass pollens gear up to release their bumper crop of allergens.
Late summer is high season for mould and mildew production, since there are both heat and humidity to spare and spores are busy feasting on decaying, rotting organic matter in preparation for fall.
Starting around August, you have ragweed season to look forward to. Ragweed, which is especially prevalent throughout Ontario, is an opportunistic weed that can grow pretty much anywhere, including in congested, concretized urban communities.
What Happens When You Breathe In Pollen?
While it can be hard to remember this in the midst of an allergy attack, the unpleasant symptoms of spring allergies actually represent your immune system’s attempts to repel the unwanted invaders.
Your body sends out tiny warriors called “histamines” to fight off the allergens, and their battle for dominance produces your watering eyes, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and fatigue. When your symptoms subside and you finally start to feel better, that is how you know the histamines have won.
How Can Air Quality (Or Lack Thereof) Impact Your Allergy Symptoms?
Over the last decade or two, there has been widespread study and scrutiny of outdoor air quality.
Concern over carbon emissions, volatile organic compounds, a weakening ozone layer and other toxic exposures has been slowly overhauling how our society relates to energy use, fuel selection and lifestyle choices.
But insufficient attention has been devoted to the quality of our indoor air until just the last few years. The truth is, the typical Canadian adult may spend less than five minutes each day outside—about the time it takes to park the car and walk inside the office or house.
The rest of that time is spent indoors, breathing indoor air.
This wouldn’t be so concerning except that recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a startling report stating that in North America, indoor air is anywhere from two to five times more toxic than outdoor air.
While there is still some controversy over whether air pollution itself can directly trigger allergy symptoms, there is no doubt it can worsen symptoms for allergy sufferers.
This is especially the case for vulnerable individuals, including those with compromised immune system function, the very young and the elderly.
Control What You Can and Start to Feel Better Fast
Even if you practice very judicious landscaping, there is no way to prevent airborne pollen—from neighboring trees, grasses and weeds—from blowing over into your individual airspace.
This can feel very discouraging if you suffer from allergies and feel like the symptoms are stealing your life away!
But there is hope in the midst of continual pollen, especially if you, like most adults, spend the majority of your time indoors each day.
Whereas you can exercise only a marginal amount of control over what goes on outside, you can exert nearly total control over what comes inside with you and enters your indoor air supply.
There are three specific ways you can quickly begin to clean, filter and purify your indoor air to remove triggering allergens and pollen, and support your immune system to deliver speedy healing.
Indoor air duct cleaning
The first tool you have at your disposal for cleaning up your indoor air in a hurry is our signature service: the professional indoor air duct cleaning.
Your air ducts are prime real estate for pollen, mould and mildew spores, dust and dust mites, pet dander and other potent allergens that can weaken your immune system and trigger allergy symptoms.
By clearing out all of that trapped debris and sanitizing your entire air duct system, you essentially hit the “reset” button on your indoor air quality. Many of our customers tell us their indoor air is so clean following this service they can literally smell the difference!
Ultraviolet air purification
Ultraviolet air purification technology uses ultraviolet light band-C, the most powerful of the three UV light bands. UV light changes the molecular structure of airborne toxins to neutralize their impact.
Both portable (room-sized) and central (whole home) UV air purifiers are available.
HEPA air filtration
HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. This filtration system was developed during World War II to protect scientists from radiation as they made the atomic bomb. It is still the gold standard in hospitals and laboratories, where air quality is paramount.
Both portable (room-sized) and central (whole home) HEPA air filtration systems are available.
Get in Touch
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Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.