Spring has sprung and with it comes an increase in pollen levels that lead to some of the most serious seasonal allergies. Creating an allergen-free zone at home can help keep symptoms to a minimum.
A runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and a tickle in your throat that starts when plants begin to bloom are all telltale signs of spring allergies. Spring allergies can begin as early as February and last into the beginning of summer. The most common causes include mold and pollen from grass and trees.
You can help alleviate allergy symptoms by eliminating allergens inside your home. Start with a thorough cleaning of all surfaces. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may aggravate respiratory symptoms and don’t forget to wash the windows.
Pay special attention to soft surfaces, such as pillows and mattresses, where allergens like to linger. Vacuum these and other surfaces with a machine that uses a high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter. You may also want to use a HEPA filter in your HVAC system and air purifier.
These filters are designed to capture extremely tiny particles of dust and other allergens. The fewer allergens in circulation in your home, the better your symptoms will be when you are indoors.
Keep windows and doors shut whenever possible, because the loveliest days typically have the highest pollen counts. If you need to air out the house, do so on a rainy day when pollen counts are lower.
Store shoes and spring jackets that can get coated in pollen at the door to prevent spreading allergens through your home. If you’ve been outdoors, change clothes as soon as you get home and jump in the shower to wash off troublesome allergen particles. The same goes for pets that play outside. Wash them frequently or rub them down with towels when it’s time to come inside.
When In Doubt
Banishing allergens from your home may not be enough to eliminate your spring allergy symptoms. If you know you suffer from seasonal allergies, start taking allergy medications before symptoms begin for the best results. You may benefit from an allergist that can perform advanced treatment options such as immunotherapy or you might need stronger medication.