Pollen produced by trees and grasses is a fine powder made up of microscopic pollen grains and because it is very light it can be easily carried by the wind so you don’t necessarily need to be in an area near trees or grass to feel the effects of pollen if you live with hay fever – the sneezing, itchy, blocked nose, itchy watery eyes and other symptoms that can make life miserable during the spring and summer.
Wearing a face mask during a high pollen count can help. As well as acting as a barrier to pollen and reducing the amount of pollen inhaled, research suggests that wearing a face mask may reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms by increasing the temperature and humidity of the air breathed in while wearing a mask. This reduces the reactivity of the nose and in turn reduces the allergic rhinitis (hay fever) symptoms.
To reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis the best advice to help limit exposure to windborne pollens is to wear a mask, a pair of wraparound sunglasses and hat with a peak or a large brim when you’re outdoors to keep airborne allergens from getting in your nose, eyes and into your hair.
Choose a mask that blocks pollen and ultrafine dust particles and is washable and quick drying and keep spares in your car, at work and at home. And most important, make sure your mask is comfortable and a good fit.