Does spring weather cause you to sneeze and sniffle? Do you spend most of your time indoors in an attempt to avoid pollen? If so, you’re probably one of the 50+ million Americans who suffer from springtime allergies. Thankfully, there are several steps that you can take to minimize those pesky allergies.
Here are a few things you should do to beat springtime allergies:
1.) Minimize Time Spent Outdoors
If you suffer from hay fever or other pollen-related allergies, try to avoid spending time outdoors when pollen count is the highest (usually between 5 am and 10 am). Warmer weather usually produces higher pollen count. Exercise indoors to reduce time spent outside in the pollen-riddled air. Eliminate weeds from your yard or garden to get rid of pollen.
Find someone to mow your yard (or wear a mask if you have to do it yourself.) Wear long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses so that pollen doesn’t touch your skin. Take a shower and wash your clothes after spending time outside.
2.) Circulate Indoor Air Properly
Keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from coming into your house. Use a fan or air conditioning system to circulate fresh, clean air throughout your home. Check your air ducts to see if they need to be cleaned. (Dirt and mold can easily congregate in the air ducts, resulting in dirty, unhealthy air). Contact a professional to clean the air ducts if needed. (Experts recommend cleaning the air ducts yearly).
Make sure that your home is properly ventilated to avoid this problem. Replace your air filters every 90 days to guarantee that your indoor air quality is at its optimal level. Cleaning your air ducts and changing your air filters regularly two simple and effective ways to monitor the quality of your indoor air. You may also want to consider using a dehumidifier to keep indoor air dry. You can also clean your floors with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
3.) Pay Attention to Pollen Levels
You can use a site like Pollen.com to find out what the pollen level is in your city. The site shows a helpful color-coded map of the United States, with various colors showing the level of pollution throughout the United States. Limit time spent outdoors when the pollen count is high in order to lessen your allergies.
Control Your Environment
Schedule an appointment with an allergist to determine what is causing your allergies. Once you know what is triggering the symptoms, do your best to steer clear of them. If you have pets, keep them outside so that they won’t bring pollen into the house. Remove your shoes before going inside so that you don’t track pollen in your home.
Try to avoid blooming plants, trees and bushes. Remove your clothing and shoes before sitting down so that you don’t cover your couch or chair in pollen. Stay indoor on windy days, since the pollen count is higher during those days. If necessary, you can also get over-the-counter antihistamines to help relieve the allergies.
Andrew Philips is an electrician who lives in Seattle, WA.