March 22, 2000Allergy Sufferers - Gardening May Reduce Symptoms
Choosing the correct plants can make all
Milwaukee, WI (SafetyAlerts) - A mild winter is
causing spring to arrive early in many areas of the United States. As a result, people are
dusting off their lawn mowers and gardening tools earlier than normal. The American
Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) encourages those people with allergies
to be selective in their choice of flora because some plants are much worse in provoking
For the more than 35 million Americans with
seasonal allergies, a lawn or garden can mean endless sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and
a scratchy throat. Allergies can even trigger asthma episodes. People with seasonal
allergies can enjoy a beautiful lawn and garden with minimal allergy symptoms if they
choose the right plants, trees, shrubs and grasses, say pollen and mold spore experts.
To avoid symptoms, allergy sufferers should first
identify which plants cause their allergic reactions. Skin testing by an allergist can
determine which allergens trigger reactions. Allergists can help you develop strategies to
avoid those plants that cause reactions and prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms.
Allergy experts have found that some plants cause
fewer reactions than others. For instance, maple trees are usually problematic for allergy
sufferers, but apple trees cause few allergic reactions. These plants have large, waxy
flowers and their pollen is too heavy and sticky to enter the air and cause an allergic
The following trees, shrubs, plants and
grasses have been found to be better for people with allergies:
Allergy sufferers should avoid these
trees, plants and grasses:
Weeds, like ragweed, pigweed and Russian thistle,
are common in the United States and are highly allergenic. In most cases, weeds are
unavoidable. Allergists also recommend wearing a mask when gardening, leaving all
gardening tools (including clothing) outdoors and showering immediately after working
outdoors to help control allergic reactions.
Taking these steps and avoiding the appropriate
plants can make it possible for the allergy sufferer to enjoy being outdoors in the
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and
Immunology is the largest professional medical specialty organization in the United
To find an allergist in your area, contact the
AAAAIs Physicians Referral and Information Line at 1-800-822-2762 or visit
their Web site, www.aaaai.org.
The National Allergy Bureau, a program of
the AAAAI, can also provide pollen and mold spore counts for specific time periods. To
access this information call 1-800-9-POLLEN or visit www.aaaai.org/nab.