Spring warms up the cold temperatures from winter and ushers in more sunshine and new plant life. But it also brings in allergens. While spring is a happy and welcome time for many, people who suffer with allergies can be miserable during this time of year.
Spring allergens come every year, but not like clockwork. People who suffer from allergies have varied symptoms from year to year and the severity of them depend on different factors. Some big factors are the environment (your home or office), how fast the earth warms up from the cold winter, and the direction of the wind.
It is beneficial to have a plan and tools in place to use when your spring allergies hit.
Spring Allergy Plan: Avoid Triggers
Creating a plan for how to combat your spring allergies is essential to feeling your best throughout the season. Be sure to communicate your plan to your family and others who are close to you so everyone can do their part.
When coming up with your spring allergy plan think about what triggers your symptoms. Avoiding those triggers is key to lessening the severity of your symptoms. Here are some things to think about putting in your plan:
- Keep Windows Closed: It can be tempting to open your windows when nicer weather rolls around, but allowing allergens like pollen to come into your house through the screens can mean trouble for your nose, eyes, and throat.
- Replace Filters Regularly: Mold, dust, and mildew can collect on filters when running your home air conditioning or furnace. You can lessen the circulation of allergens in your home by regularly using high quality filters and changing them often.
- Take Your Shoes Off: If you suffer from spring allergies, you might benefit from having a “No Shoes in the House” policy. If the allergens that affect you most are found outside—like grass, pollen, and mold—they are likely to end up in your house on the bottoms of shoes. When those shoes walk through your house they are leaving allergens everywhere.
- Spring Cleaning: Cleaning is imperative to keeping your allergy symptoms at bay. If you suffer from seasonal allergies invest in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter and commit to vacuuming regularly, especially high traffic areas and entryways. This is also a good time to clean all the furniture, carpets, and bedding where allergen spores can spread easily. During the spring season, try and get into the habit of dusting regularly and preventing mold from growing in the warmer (possibly more humid) air. Seal leaks in pipes, and use a dehumidifier if necessary. Don’t hesitate to discard items with mold that won’t come off.
- Change Your Clothes: Allergens can stick to your clothes once you’ve been outside for an extended period. It is important to change your clothes right when you get home, especially if you were mowing the lawn. If you wait to change your clothes and you sit on your couch or bed, you risk spreading the allergens to those surfaces.
- Shower at Night: While it might be inconvenient for some, showering at night is essential to keeping allergens out of your bedding. It’s important for the same reason changing your clothes is important. If you don’t wash your hair, you’re transferring allergens from your hair to your pillow and sheets where they will multiply, possibly making your bed a trigger area for your allergy symptoms.
- Digitally Track Allergens: You can track allergen counts on your smartphone via apps like the one from The Weather Channel or through daily emails from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma, and Immunology. You can use this data to plan your day by avoiding outdoor activities during peak pollen hours.
- Nasal Irrigation: Research shows that nasal irrigation can help alleviate some symptoms of spring allergies, including sneezing, sinus headaches, nasal congestions, and post-nasal drip, to name a few. Nasal irrigation helps clear nasal passages of allergens that can cause the worst of the symptoms. Over-the-counter nasal irrigation products are available at pharmacies. If you choose to try nasal irrigation, it is very important to use bottled or filtered water.
- See Your Doctor or a Specialist: It can be hard to know when to see a doctor or specialist for something that seems normal, especially if it only affects you temporarily. Spring allergies symptoms can disrupt your entire day and last for weeks. A doctor or other medical professional will be able to prescribe allergy medications or other guidance on how to alleviate your symptoms.
Spring Allergy Plan: Avoid Triggers
Here at Canopy Health, we know how rough it can be for those who suffer from spring allergies. Specialists at the Canopy Health network are here to help you feel your best.