As many of my dear patients know, in this time of social isolation, my family has taken on numerous hobbies in order to avoid boredom. To her credit, one of the best ideas my teenage daughter has had is gardening. If nothing else, she keeps the mess outside. For some reason, nearly every idea she has had causes allergies and gives me a reason to blog…so thank you, Katie for your inspiration.

In any case, I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss limiting allergy symptoms while gardening, which is such an amazing hobby this time of year and in fall. Gardening has been so important to provide relaxation during this time and yet the symptoms may offset much of the benefits for many patients.

If you love to garden but are troubled by the side effect of allergy, here are some considerations:

1. Wear an allergy mask—which comes in especially handy now as you can also wear while shopping and social distancing. The high-quality masks have a particle filter.

2. If touching plants gives you a contact allergy, wear gloves, glasses or sunglasses and consider wearing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and slacks to prevent contact with the oils and chemicals that are the typical culprits. After you’ve gardened, avoid wearing the used “gardening” clothes again until they’ve been washed. Be careful about taking a nap in those used gardening clothes or you may be living with that allergic reaction until you have a chance to change your bed linens.

3. When you are done gardening, stop at the door — try to prevent from tracking allergens through your home (take off your shoes, socks, hat, and any extra clothes right there) — and shower them off immediately.

4. Know your pollen allergies. This is best done under the care of a board-certified Allergist & Immunologist: https://www.abai.org/
By testing your allergies, you can understand the times of year that the local plants to which you are allergic pollinate and then by attempting to avoid them. On the other hand, if your testing is negative — why are you taking drugs that may be giving you unnecessary side effects?

5. Choose your time to garden wisely: Avoid windy days as these irritate allergic and nonallergic symptoms alike. Having dust and irritants blown into the eyes and nose is never pleasant but especially not if it is something to which you are allergic. After the rain may be most pleasant for most of us but unpleasant for mold-allergic patients. Also, back to #4, if you know what pollens you are allergic to, you can spend most of your time planting before or after your primary pollen allergy season, if possible.

6. Talk to an allergist. There are some practical considerations that might help but would be individualized to your situation, some of which are discussed above. For example, would a medication help and which one? When should I take my medication?

7. Finally, if all this fails – like all doctors – we have a shot for that: Allergy shots. Not those big vaccine shots of our youth. Allergy shots prevent your body from overreacting to allergy. It is one of the most natural and significant ways of overcoming allergies. Allergy shots have been around for more than 100 years.  That kind of longevity is reassuring in medicine.

Anyway, if you have a jungle in your backyard and a teenager suffering from allergies, we have something in common and I’d be glad to help.

We look forward to meeting you: Call today to make an appointment to address your cat and dog allergy needs…You can live with allergies!

Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, DC Ranch and Grayhawk at 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, on the corners of Deer Valley and Scottsdale Roads, and has convenient evening and early morning hours to accommodate your schedule.

Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments in the safety and comfort of your home. Insurance plans accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment and begin your allergy testing and treatment with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Learn more about Dr. Wendt and Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives at www.relieveallergyaz.com and FOLLOW US on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linked In.