Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and even then, it’s probably still possible), you’ve probably felt the effects of spring allergy season. As the year moves into “undeniably spring” territory (think tulips, bunnies and wearing white), everyone with spring allergies is loading up on Kleenex and Claritin to mitigate the pollen fallout.
Short of locking yourself indoors (and even then, you’re probably still not immune from the reach of spring allergens), there’s not really a foolproof way to keep spring allergies away. Rather, mapping out a plan — that’s part common sense, part preventative, and part pro-active — could prove to be your best bet.
How do I help my allergy symptoms?
Common Sense Allergy Tips:
- Check your local weather stations (or go to pollen.com and enter your zip code to get a detailed daily allergy report) before you commit to spending extended periods of time outdoors. If it’s a particularly high day for allergens that are problematic for you, consider staying indoors and reading a good book!
- Be mindful of open doors and windows — you may want a fresh breeze, but there’s lot of pollens and allergens that can come with it. (This goes for your vehicle too!)
- If you do go outside, leave your shoes at the door. You might even want to take a quick shower to rinse off any remaining pollen before you track it back inside your house.
- Same goes for pets — if your dog or cat has been romping around in the yard, pat him down with a damp cloth to remove allergens that might cling to pet fur.
- Change your furnace filters, this is one not a lot of people think about. The beginning of spring allergy season is a great time to do it — and you may be rewarded with milder allergy symptoms!
- Place a doormat made of natural bristle fibers at every door that goes outside. This can help trap errant allergens and keep them from being tracked into your home.
- Do a little early spring cleaning. Making sure there aren’t leaks (which could mean mold), vacuum your carpeted and upholstered surfaces (preferably with a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter), and wash pillows, bath mats and bedding in hot water to kill dust mites and remove mold.
What if spring cleaning and cleaning up after my dog isn’t enough? Is there any medicine I can take to help my allergy symptoms?
Preventative Allergy Tips:
- WebMD recommends talking to your doctor about antihistamines. They can help if you’re sneezing, have a runny nose, or if your nose and eyes are itchy. If they’re taken at the onset of allergy symptoms occurring, they can help to head off what would ordinarily be a miserable season. Some antihistamines may make you drowsy, so ask your doctor what he or she recommends. Some OTC antihistamines that might cut your misery include:
- WebMD also suggests that nasal corticosteroid sprays can also work — you simply spritz them into your nose, and they can provide you relief from sneezing and a stuffy nose. However, they might take a few days (or weeks!) to kick in.
If antihistamines and nasal sprays aren’t working well enough for you, you may want to look into getting an allergy shot. Your doctor can give you a series of injections — over months or years — that contain a little bit of the pollen you’re allergic to (thus, working in much the way a vaccine would work). This can help your body can build up a defense system that can keep pollen from causing such severe symptoms.
Proactive Allergy Tips:
- Bearing in mind that you can’t change the weather outside, you can affect it to some degree indoors. Placing high-quality air purifiers designed to tackle allergen-prone environments in the main rooms of your home or office can go a long way in reducing some of particles that give you the spring allergy blues.
- In the same vein, if your home or region is particularly damp, it could mean mold is in your future. The right dehumidifier can remove that excess moisture from the air (whether it’s naturally occurring or the result of a pesky leak you just fixed), which makes it much harder for mold and mildew to grow and sustain itself. Damp environments are also perfect for hosting dust mites, so the drier you can get it, the better your allergies could be.
- Use that vacuum like you’ve never used it before! Sure they’re great for floors and upholstered surfaces, but they can also be great for extending the life of certain filters, removing dust and odor-causing particles from mattresses, and getting dust and cobwebs out of hard-to-reach areas. Again, choosing a sealed vacuum with a HEPA filter means whatever undesirables you remove from your surfaces stay removed — the HEPA traps the particles and prevents them from being blown back out into your air.
- Clean your home well without resorting to using potentially harmful chemicals with toxic fumes. A steam cleaner is great for killing germs and bacteria using just the power of water vapor, and can be used on a variety of surfaces all around your home.
Our top products for easing allergy symptoms are
The Pure & Dry HEPA50 dehumidifier and air purifier is the first combination dehumidifier air purifier in America that incorporates a HEPA air filter to produce the driest and cleanest air possible. This revolutionary Pure & Dry HEPA50 dehumidifier and air purifier will dry the air in spaces up to 1,000 square feet, plus it will remove allergy-causing, microscopic particles from the air such as mold, mildew, pollen, pet dander and dust.
The Blueair Blue Pure 211 makes air purification simple with its one-button activation and it offers the highest filtration capacity of any air purifier in its class. The Blue features a 360-degree air intake on the bottom of the unit, providing efficient air purification wherever you need it. It removes smog, dust, pollen and other particles from the air, leaving the air in your home clean to breathe.
The US Steam Blue Jay steam cleaner enables you to steam clean throughout your home for up to 1 hour per cleaning session. It features a dual-tank system with a 1.6-liter capacity that allows users to continuously steam clean without having to stop to refill the tank. The Blue Jay’s boiler heats up to 298°F while the tip emits steam at temperatures between 285°F – 300°F. These high temperatures enable you to safely clean almost any surface in your home without the use of harsh chemicals.
The Veridian X310 is our favorite economical robot vacuum cleaner for cleaning hard surface floors, area rugs and wall to wall carpeting. Simple and easy to use, the X310 offers smart sensors to avoid both collisions and falls. An intelligent optical sensor detects dirt levels to ensure you are left with clean, beautiful floors.