When you say that spring is in the air, most people will be happy about it. For them, this means that all the greenery and sunny weather will make their outdoor time even more enjoyable. However, for people suffering from seasonal allergies, this usually means that all hell’s about to break loose. Your throat starts feeling sore and scratchy, your nose runny and your eyes itchy and you just want to run and hide from everything causing you these annoying and tiring symptoms. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get through the allergy season a bit more smoothly. Here is some advice straight from your seasonal allergy survival textbook.
Be careful about when you leave your home
Choosing the right time to indulge in your favorite outdoor activities can be a crucial decision for allergic people during the allergy season. First of all, keep up with the pollen-count reports for your area on a daily basis, and plan your activities in accordance with them. In case pollen count is high, consider staying in, even if you had a workout session planned. If the alternative is worsening of your symptoms, then maybe it’s better to opt for doing your exercises inside your home. If you have to be outside at the wrong time, or if you have to do some gardening, put on a protective mask and wear some protective clothing. And if you were wondering when the best time to be outside is, it’s right after the rain, when most of the airborne particles are lowered down to the ground and won’t bother you as much.
Leave the outdoors outside
While outdoors, pollen from the air sticks to your clothes, but also your hair and skin. To avoid the unnecessarily long exposure to this and other allergens you can pick up from your stroll around the park, take off your shoes outside your door and change your clothes into clean ones as soon as you get home. If you stay in the same clothes you wore while you were outside, not only will you be in constant contact with the harmful allergens, but you’ll also scatter them around your home. Furthermore, you should take a shower and wash your hair to remove the remaining pollen from your body. Also, in case you have pets who spend time outside, wipe or wash their paws when they come back home.
Turn your home into a safe haven
One thing you can do when trying to protect yourself from allergens is doing your best to turn your home into a fortress. Of course, you can’t keep all the allergens out, but you can limit them. First of all, you should avoid keeping your windows and doors open. Second, invest in a reliable air purifier for allergies with highest quality HEPA filters, which can improve your breathing and your sleep significantly. And while at the topic of HEPA filters, your vacuum cleaner should have them as well. Also, you should wash all your curtains, rugs, blankets and cushions regularly. Once a week would be perfect and the temperature of the water you wash them it should be at least 60°C. It may sound like too much and too often, but it’s the best way to keep allergens at bay. Wiping the inside of your washing machine with some diluted bleach on a cloth could also help, since that way you’re getting rid of fungi and bacteria that can grow in there. Finally, cleaning your closet from time to time is important, too, in order to remove the mold and dust mites that can hide inside it.
Dust your home the right way
When you’re allergic, you should clean your home extra meticulously. One of the things this includes is dusting. You should take time to dust your entire home at least once a week, but make sure you do it properly. Instead of using a feather duster or a dry cloth, use a damp or wet microfiber cloth. Feather dusters and dry cloths cause more harm than good since they just stir up the dust into the air. The dust in your home is full of allergens such as mold spores, pet dander and even pollen transferred from the outside. So, in order to protect yourself while dusting, perhaps you should wear a face mask and gloves to protect your hands.
Consider treatment options
As it is sometimes impossible to avoid allergens, some people turn to drugs for help. If you’re looking for some over-the-counter help, you can get antihistamines. They are a short-term way of treating allergies since they only relieve you of the symptoms for a while. Another option and a bit stronger one are corticosteroids. However, they require a doctor’s prescription, and for a good reason, so talk to your MD before reaching for them. Finally, there’s immunotherapy. It comes in the form of pills, drops, and injections. These are meant to expose you to the allergen that bothers you and in increasing doses. Their effect lasts for years after the treatment, and they may also prevent some other, more serious forms of allergies.
Recognizing that you are actually allergic and finding out exactly what you’re allergic to are the first steps towards keeping yourself safe and protected. And with these tips, you might just survive this allergy season without your symptoms raging.