Ah, Spring. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the allergy sufferers are flocking to the drug stores and buying out all the antihistamines on the shelves. As much as we are ready to welcome winter’s end, those of us with allergies are dreading the yearly plague of itchy noses, watery eyes, and sneezing! There are a few things we can do to prepare, but eliminating our exposure to pollen is essentially impossible.
Here are a few things you can do:
- As tempting as it may be to crack open all the windows and leave the doors open, don’t do it! Keep them closed to minimize exposure to allergens.
- Be sure to vacuum your home frequently! Vacuuming floors, rugs, furniture, even your mattresses and pillows with a HEPA filtered vacuum is recommended.
- Pollen sticks to fabric like velcro. To avoid spreading it through your home, change your clothes as soon as you get inside. You may even want to bag the clothes before bringing them to the laundry area depending on the severity of your allergies. Also, leave shoes in the foyer so you do not track the pollen onto your floors and rugs.
- If you typically shower in the morning, try switching it up and showering before bed to avoid transferring pollen to your blankets and pillows.
- Be sure to change furnace filters frequently. Use a pleated filter with a high MERV rating. Spending a little more on a high quality filter it worth it.
- Do mold inspections because mold can set off allergies as well. The top places to uncover mold is in bathrooms, kitchens, basements or anywhere there may be leaks, or propensity for humid conditions.
- Remember to clean and shut off the humidifier if you have one attached to your furnace.
- Limit outdoor activity when the pollen count is at a high. (Typically between 5:00 AM – 10:00 AM) Pollen counts are always high on windy days, and hot dry days have a higher pollen count as well.
- Check the local weather app or weather station for an air quality report before planning your day.
- Schedule an appointment to have your air ducts cleaned and sanitized. This will remove pollen, dust, dust mites, mold spores and other allergens from your air ducts.
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