While the warmer weather has well and truly arrived and the flowers are blooming, now is a time when many suffer from seasonal allergies.
An increase in pollen in the air can leave many feeling like they've caught a cold during the seasonal changes. Image credit:Sebastian Smit/sxc.hu
Pollen, mold spores and grasses can leave many people feeling as thought they've just caught a cold. Sadly, allergic reactions can't be cured the same way you can treat a cold; but by taking a few simple actions, it's possible to survive allergy season with a bit more success and make it through the seasonal changes reaction free.
Here are just a few ideas you can easily do to reduce the airborne irritants that can often trigger allergies.
Suck it up By running a vacuum over your floors, furniture and curtains, you can get rid of a great deal of irritants. While you're at it, wipe down dusty surfaces, since dust is an allergen itself. During cleaning dust and pollen may be stirred up, so cover your face if you become symptomatic.
Change your bed clothes Washing your bed sheets and pillowcases frequently will also help remove allergens. Use the hottest water setting you can to remove pollen, spores and dust mites. At the very least change your pillowcases in between laundry loads to reduce allergen buildup. And whatever you do, DO NOT hang your sheets outside to dry!
If you're drying your clothing and bedsheets on the clothesline during pollen season, you're essentially inviting your allergies to perk up. Image credit: Lisandra Barros Mendon/sxh.hu
Do the laundry Allergens will also permeate clothes in addition to skin and hair. Wash clothes in warm or hot water when possible. Dry laundry indoors to keep everything free from allergens. Change outfits after spending time outside to minimise your exposure.
Keep windows closed When pollen season hits, keeping your windows shut during the daytime - when pollen counts are higher - is a useful way to limit how much gets into your home. Air conditioning can help filter some of the irritants out while you keep cool. You can crack windows open on rainy days, which clean allergens and pollutants out of the air.
Go to the car wash Some areas have enough pollen in the air that you can see a yellow, dusty coating on your car windshield. Washing your car will keep your symptoms under control when you hit the road. Go the extra mile and vacuum the interior to reduce the allergens on your clothes.
In some areas, your car can collect a lot of pollen, so washing your car inside and out can ease up the sneezing while you drive. Image credit: Keran McKenzie/sxc.hu
While many of these tips seem basic, it's surprising how often they can be overlooked. Simply by taking as many precautions as possible to limit the pollen and irritants that get into your home, you'll be rewarded with less irritating particles to breathe in. Hang in there and before you know it, the season will be over.