I’m a lucky guy. I’ve rarely had any trouble with seasonal allergies. But everyone in my family has struggled with it year after year after year. Their runny nose, constant sneezing and itchy eyes – it stinks. Through them, I’ve been able to identify what works for them and share it with you. Here are my 10 tips for kicking the springtime allergies.
1. Check the daily pollen count.
This one’s easy. You can check the pollen count by clicking here. The pollen count describes the concentration of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air. The count tends to be higher between 5:00am and 10:00am. If the pollen count if moderate or high, try to stay indoors. Wear a pollen mask when outdoors and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Or just sleep in.
2. Grab some antihistamines from the drug store.
A simple antihistamine tablet or nasal spray can help stop runny nose and itchy eyes. It’s best to use before you experience symptoms though. See #1. Decongestants can help cut down on the fluids that line your nose. You can also buy antihistamine eye drops if you have irritated eyes. If you’d like to skip the drug store, you can do things like sip apple cider vinegar, take lots of probiotics, flush your nose with a nasal irrigation, drink a nettle leaf tea, take a hot shower, breathe in eucalyptus oil, and even eat spicy food to help beat the allergies.
3. Don’t bring your shoes inside.
Your shoes could have tons of pollen on them, and you just track it right into your house if you don’t take your shoes off.
4. Change your ventilation filters regularly.
Your furnace filter should be changed every 6 weeks in winter. Make sure all filters in your home are changed often. Avoid use of fans if possible.
5. Keep windows closed and use your air conditioner.
Usually I recommend keeping windows open in the spring to let fresh air in, but if you suffer allergies, keep ‘em closed and turn on the AC. The filter in your air conditioner will help filter out pollen.
6. Dehumidify your home.
Humidity levels should be below 60% to decrease the growth of mold, which is another common allergen. Consider a dehumidifier in damp places, like restrooms.
7. Get rid of your rugs.
Pull the carpet, get rid of rugs, and vacuum your floors and furniture daily. Take down your drapes once a week and wash them.
8. Wash your bedding often.
Dust mites can cause allergies. Washing your bedding in 131 degree water kills all dust mites.
9. Get allergen-proof pillow cases and mattress covers.
This helps significantly decrease contact with dust mites and helps reduce asthma and allergies.
10. Wash up.
Wash your hands often and make sure your hair and any facial hair is clean. This helps keep bedding clean and wipes away any potential allergens.