7 Ways to Control Spring Allergies

Family Group Hiking In Woods Together

Aaah, spring! With warmer weather and longer days, spring is the time of rejuvenation…. and allergies. From itchy, watery eyes to non-stop sneezing and rashes, allergies can quickly stop you in your tracks. Here are 7 Ways to Control Spring Allergies, in an around your home.

Outdoors:

1. Minimize outdoor activities when pollen counts are highest

“The most common spring-specific allergen is tree pollen,” say Dr. Lee Perry. One of the best ways to avoid this is to minimize your activities outdoors when pollen counts are at their peak, typically in the early mornings. Warm, dry, and windy weather also contributes to higher pollen levels. With pollen counts varying day by day, it’s best to check online for local pollen levels before heading outside.

2. Protect your eyes when working outdoors

If you need to work outdoors, Dr. Anlin Xu recommends wearing goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes. If you do get allergens in your eyes, flush them out with eye-drop antihistamines.

3. Wear a mask to avoid breathing in allergens

“Pollen is the most common cause of season allergies,” says Dr. Mark Deutsch, which makes spring and summer the most challenging time for allergy sufferers. Our noses act as filters and traps airborne substances like pollen. To avoid breathing in these allergens, Dr. Robert Kwok suggests wearing a mask while working in the garden or going for a hike.

Indoors:

4. Spring clean your home

Believe it or not, indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, containing 10 times more pollutants. By spring cleaning your home for top to bottom, you can improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens. Decrease the number of surfaces where dust can collect (including getting rid of stuffed animals), swap out carpets for hard wood floor (if possible), and keep upholstered furniture to a minimum. Dr. Gary Steven advices using a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove allergens before they get kicked up in the air.

5. Invest in a HEPA filter for your air purifier

“Obtaining an air-conditioner or HEPA filter can keep pollen out of the home,” says Dr. James M. Fox. HEPA filters, or High Efficiency Particulate Air filters, work by trapping small particles like pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke.

Baby and cat sleeping together

6. Create a dust-free bedroom

“Heavier allergens like dust tend to settle on surfaces or drop to the floor where a filter cannot trap it,” saysDr. Stephen Kimura. Dust can contain triggers like mold, pet dander, and dust mites. If you have carpeting in your bedroom, vacuum at least two times a week — more if you have pets. And to avoid dust mites in the bedroom, Dr. John Overholt suggests, “Encase your pillows, mattress, and box springs in dust mite proof covers. If you can’t wrap it up, wash it in hot water with some regularity. Keep the head of the bed uncluttered. Maintain a relative humidity of under 50%.”

7. Check the bathroom for mold

Dr. Howard Shapiro warns that household mold is one of the most common causes of allergies, including asthma. “Even if you don’t use that bathroom often, get rid of the mold. There are a number of cleaners that work. If they fail, there are professionals who will get rid of it.” Mold thrives in cold, damp areas. To keep mold at bay, ensure your bathroom has proper ventilation. Run the exhaust fan or leave the window open when taking a shower.

Need more personalized advice on how to control your seasonal allergies? Talk to a HealthTap doctor today!