The temperatures are rising, the flowers are blooming, and wildlife is coming out of hiding. This can be a pleasant time for most people, but for allergy sufferers, it can be the toughest time of year. As pollen wanders freely through the air, seasonal and environmental allergy symptoms can return with a vengeance.
But not all hope is lost. Allergy sufferers can take a variety of preparatory steps to spring-proof immune systems before allergy season fully arrives. Below are some steps you can take to prepare yourself before the pollen attacks.
Allergy-proofing your home
While you may feel safe from the elements outside at the end of the day, irritants that trigger seasonal and environmental allergies can creep into your home. There is a multitude of ways to ensure your home isn’t an incubator for irritants, with methods specific to each room of the house, such as:
Where you sleep at night can be the most important area to allergy-proof. Doing so can include buying dust-mite-proof covers which must be washed at least once a week in warm/hot water. You can also replace any wool or cotton bedding with synthetic materials.
Carpet can collect dust which becomes airborne when walked upon. If possible, replace any carpet and make use of hardwood or even linoleum flooring to be vacuumed weekly. If removing carpet isn’t an option, it’s advised to vacuum at least once a week with HEPA air filtered vacuum to capture as much dust particles as possible.
If your bedroom has any horizontal blinds, replacing them with washable roller blinds can avoid any dust build up over time.
To take it one step further, making your bedroom a pet-free zone has been proven to decrease any pet allergies.
Your living room is the most communal space in the house, so it is expected to reduce any allergy hazards as much as possible. In the living room and throughout the whole house, relying on air conditioning during high pollen count days can significantly increase the air quality inside the home. As windows can build up condensation and/or mold, cleaning them frequently can also prevent allergy symptoms from being triggered.
If you own any plants, it may be best to find a more practical space inside or out of the house to keep them. If the living room is their home, use aquarium gravel in your planters to prevent mold growth and help reduce the chance of allergies.
Furthermore, it is advised to avoid using any wood fireplaces, as ash/smoke can easily become airborne and affect the air quality of your living room/rest of the home.
As the room at the most risk of mold and airborne allergy irritants, a clean bathroom can mean a healthy allergy season. Effective care of ventilation, floors, tub, shower, sink, and toilet can significantly decrease any allergy risks.
Furthermore, showering as soon as you get home and washing the clothes you wore as soon as possible can be a way of ‘sterilizing’ yourself from outside pollen and dust.
Rest of Home
Time your exercise routine
Once allergy-proofing the inside of your house, having an activity strategy for going outdoors can decrease your allergy risk and benefit your overall health. Typically, the pollen count during allergy season is at its peak between the hours of 5 and 10 a.m. Although using a pollen count as an excuse not to exercise isn’t recommended, exercising indoors or outside these hours is ideal to avoid triggering allergies.
Fighting allergies before even having symptoms
Arguably the best thing an allergy sufferer can do is actively and consistently ensure that they are taking all measures to reduce any allergy hazards in their everyday lives. The above sections on methods inside and outside the home can be effective, but only if they are done consistently.
You can protect yourself from allergies year-round, and breaking the habit of only seeking seasonal and environmental allergy relief when symptoms arise will make the rest of the steps in this article a lot easier.