Spring comes every year, and every year people across the world are bombarded with runny noses, red eyes, and uncontrollable sneezing.
Spring allergies are more than just an inconvenience—they can completely derail your day and keep you from leaving your home.
But you don’t have to hide indoors all spring to avoid all the pollen in the air. Here are six ways to keep your allergies at bay this year so you can enjoy the warming weather.
Avoid Wearing ‘Outside Clothes’ Inside
Every time you go outside, your clothes pick up microscopic pollutants, dirt, and pollen. When you get home after work, after a hike, or after running errands, get into the habit of switching into your “home clothes” to keep your home clean and allergy-free.
It can be difficult to keep all pollen out of your home (those little irritants always find their way inside somehow) but just like ticks can hitch a ride indoors in your dog’s coat, pollen and grasses cling to clothes, hair, and skin. So strip into dedicated indoor clothing as soon as you get home to keep the allergy flare-ups to a minimum.
Install Home Air Purifiers
Even opening the door to leave for work in the morning can bring pollen and grass into your home. Investing in an at-home air-purifier will get any lingering allergens out of the air before they become a problem.
Air purifiers are often referred to as a “flu shot for your home” since they easily filter and remove microscopic irritants like mold spores, dander, dust, pollen, and even airborne bacteria and viruses. If you’re trying to decide between buying an air filter or an air purifier, the purifier will be your best bet in keeping allergy attacks at bay inside your home.
Don’t Hang Laundry Outside
Air drying your laundry outside may lower your monthly utility bill, but it also gives grass and pollen in the air the perfect opportunity to latch onto your clothing. Instead of drying your clothes outdoors where they can easily track allergens back inside, consider buying a drying rack you can set up inside—setting it up near a bright window will still help you save energy while also keeping your newly cleaned clothes clean and pollen-free.
Regularly Check the Weather
In addition to telling you how warm or cold it is, weather apps can also provide helpful information about current air quality. This information can help both asthma and allergy sufferers know how irritating the air outside may be on their lungs and allergies. If you do need to go outside on a day when the air is less-than-healthy, masks can help filter the air and keep allergens from getting into your nasal passages and respiratory system.
Keep the Allergy Meds Close
If an allergy attack does happen, you want to make sure you have medicine nearby. There are a lot of over-the-counter allergy medicines out there that can ease your symptoms. Oral antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are effective and readily available. Nasal sprays can also temporarily relieve stuffiness and other symptoms. If you’re having a bad allergic reaction, look for combination medications like Claritin-D or Allegra-D that combine antihistamines with a decongestant.
If you’re looking for natural allergy treatments, butterbur extract can work as a plant-based antihistamine. Some studies also recommend Phleum pratense and pycnogenol to help with allergy symptoms.
Consider Seeing an Allergist
Sometimes allergy symptoms are mild and you only have to deal with a runny nose. For some people, they can make everyday life extremely difficult. If your allergies regularly flare up for no reason, consider taking an allergy test—you may find out you’re allergic to something you didn’t know about before that might be causing your symptoms.