The first day of spring is less than a month away. Soon the snow will start melting and plant life will rise again, bringing beauty and tons and tons of pollen.

Pollen is a very common asthma and allergy trigger. If it’s one of yours, here’s how you can be prepared.

  1. 1. Check the Pollen Forecast - When planning outdoor activities, it’s a good idea to check the pollen forecast ahead of time so you know what the air quality will be. If possible, schedule outdoor activities at times when pollen levels are lower. Often pollen levels are at their highest in the morning before 10am.

  2. 2. Get Unscented Bug Spray - In addition to plants, bugs also make a comeback during the spring. But be careful when choosing a bug spray. Scented or aerosol sprays can trigger asthma for some people. If this is a trigger for you, try unscented lotions instead.

  3. 3. Garden with Caution - Gardening is a popular spring activity. To avoid allergens, choose plants that are lightly scented and that are bird/insect pollinated instead of wind pollinated. Also, some grasses such as buffalo grass produce less pollen than others.

  4. 4. Shower Before Bed - While you’re outside, your hair and clothes will collect pollen. Avoid bringing all that pollen to bed with you by showering before you go to bed. This will help keep your sheets from collecting pollen, so you can breathe easy throughout the night and sleep well.