Being allergic to tree pollen can mean symptoms start as early as January depending on where you live

And even though pollen can travel miles from where it originates, there are still ways to minimize your contact with it. Here are 5 steps you can take to minimize your contact with this trigger and increase your quality of life.

Eliminate The Problems — The trees that produce the most pollen are deciduous male trees. They produce only pollen and no blooms. They include alder, birch, elm, hickory, maple, oak, pine and sycamore.

Living with one of these in your yard poses you to thousands more spores that having it only short distance away like next door or some houses away. Removing these trees from your yard can greatly reduce your exposure to the trigger. If you must have one of these in your yard, choose a female because it bears zero pollen.

Plant Allergy-Friendly Trees – If you are a gardener in spite of your allergies be sure to choose species that contain both male and female parts in the same flower. The benefit to you is that insects pollinate the tree and it does not need to depend on the wind for pollination.

Luckily, these trees are gorgeous and will add lots of beauty to any landscape. They include the crab apple, cherry, dogwood, flowering plum magnolia, and redbud, and yellow poplar.

Avoid Outside When Pollen Count Is High — In general the spore count tend to be higher in the morning. So avoid outside before about 10:00 am. You can get a really accurate count each morning for local conditions through radio, TV, and online weather websites.

Best times to be outdoors are after a heavy rain. The spores have literally been washed from the air. Worse times to be out and about are on dry windy days when the wind is moving millions of these particles through the air.

Limit Air Exchange — Keep windows and doors closed in your home, office. Use the air conditioner rather than open windows and fans to keep cool.

Close the vents in your car and use the air conditioner there too. Parking in a garage or under cover will help keep a lot of the pollen from accumulating on the car.

Filter Indoor Air — Even with all of the precautions above, these small granules will still make their way into indoor space on air currents when doors open, on packages, in hair, and on pets.

Continuing filtering the air will drastically reduce the particles that are airborne in your air. HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting filters are the perfect solution.

Designed to remove airborne particles as small as 3. microns with 99.7% efficiency it can remove tree, grass, and weed pollens. The good news is that even though your focus might be on spores, this type of technology can also remove more common indoor particulates.

These include irritants such as household dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, and pet dander. All of these are well known for their ability to trigger allergy and asthma flare ups.

Reducing exposure to the allergen is still the most effective and non-invasive way to minimize disruptive symptoms. Using these 5 strategies will go a long way towards allowing you to keep your life on track despite airborne pollens.