Lately, you’ve probably heard the sound that heralds the arrival of spring: sneezing. Yes, while the birds are singing too, sneezing is an unwelcome sign to many allergy sufferers that spring has arrived.
If you’re one of those unlucky sufferers, keeping in mind a few helpful tips may help you make it through this allergy season with a few less sneezes.
1. Clean it up. While the traditional spring cleaning has fallen out of vogue with many homeowners, this is one easy home improvement that may actually have a double benefit: a clean house and improved breathing. Ridding your home of winter’s accumulation of dust, dirt and mold and mildew can only make you feel better. Many people who have environmental allergies also have allergies to these common household triggers..
2. Call in the reinforcements. If it’s been a long time—or never—since you’ve had your air ducts cleaned, call an air duct cleaning service to do this for you. Over the years, dust, dirt, bugs, and sometimes rodents can accumulate in your air ducts. Make sure that the air that is blowing through your home every time the heat or air conditioning kicks on is not picking up debris or particles and dumping them into your air.
3. Give your meds time to work. Before you head outside to cut the grass or work in the garden, make sure your allergy medicine has had at least 30 minutes to kick in; you should also wear a mask if you’re especially allergic.
4. Keep an eye on the pollen counts in your area. An easy way to do this is to log on to http://www.pollen.com for up-to-date information on pollen counts and allergy information for your particular geographic area. Usually pollen peaks during the day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
5. Run your air conditioning. Keeping your windows closed and the air conditioning running can help reduce the number of allergens in your home. Have an air conditioning service maintain your unit to be sure it’s ready for the spring and summer.
6. Restrict your pets. If you have outdoor pets, don’t let them sleep in your bedroom, because they are bringing the pollen indoors with them. It can cling to their fur.
7. Dry your clothing and bedding indoors. If you hang your laundry on the line to dry, it will just pick up the pollen that you’re trying to avoid bringing into the house.
While you may not be able to avoid every allergy trigger, following these simple tips will help you minimize the amount of exposure—and hopefully symptoms—you have.