It’s allergy season and when your job is driving a rig, you can’t afford to be sneezing behind the wheel. Spring pollen is definitely in the air and chances are the cab of your truck is no safe haven from this irritating yellow dust. It’s everywhere and depending on your sensitivity and your travel route, you may find symptoms unbearable at times. If itchy, watery eyes, congestion, and other allergy symptoms are causing you distress on the road, be cautioned about the impairing side effects from both prescription and over-the-counter medications, which are used to treat allergy symptoms. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps a list of driver-approved medications and those totally off limits while on the job. If you must take these, do so with caution, but consider other options, which can be of great help if you suffer annoying allergies:
- Keep your widows up and refrain from circulating outside air unless you have a good, clean HEPA filter on your fan unit. Drawing in “fresh” air through open windows or vents is basically like blowing pollen and irritants right into your eyes and nose. Using the air conditioner will help clean and recirculate cabin air while keeping things dry to prevent the growth of mold spores.
- Drive during low pollen hours if you want to maximize your feel-good time. Pollen counts are highest early in the morning and peak at the middle of the day. That leaves you late afternoon and all night long to cruise and breath easier.
- Keep your nasal passages calm by spraying often with a saline nasal moisturizer. Dry sinus passages actually suffer more so keep them moist.
- If you keep the air inside your cab cleaner than the air outside, you’re apt to notice a huge difference in how you feel. Consider taking the extra time to change your cabin air filters. It makes sense to change the filter at least once a year if not more often if you are sensitive to pollen and other road irritants.
- Even better, invest in an in-cab HEPA medical grade air filter like the Phillips GoPure seen here http://www.philipsgopure.com/
- Do you drive with your pet? Before you bring him back into your cabin, give his fur a good brushing and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove pollen picked up from a roadside stop.
- Check out the pollen counts along your travel route. www.pollen.com is a great resource. You can access the website or set up pollen count alerts to send directly to your smart phone or email.