Summer is almost here, and with it, the seasonal allergy triggers that plague 50 million Americans every year. Sometimes, seasonal allergies seem unavoidable, but this summer, it is possible to get ahead of the game and keep your symptoms to a minimum.
Keep an Eye on Pollen Levels
Technology is a wonderful thing. While once upon a time not so long ago, people had to take their chances with pollen, we can now check the pollen levels on our devices from the safety of air-conditioned homes. In fact, you can even check pollen levels days ahead of time to help plan your week. It’s still a good idea to check again in the morning in case the pollen levels have changed. If you tend to get hit by seasonal allergies, it’s best to stay in on days with high pollen levels or go out at night, when pollen levels are lower.
Keep Your Environment Clean
Nothing is worse than being in the throes of allergy/sinus symptoms and breathing in dust in your own home. And since you won’t want to start cleaning when you feel stuffed, you should already be in the habit of keeping your living space clean. Dust regularly and vacuum any pet dander. You might also shower immediately after coming inside and change clothes. This way, even if your sinuses start to flare, at least the atmosphere inside won’t make it worse.
Close the Windows
During warm summer months, it seems tempting to crack open a window. But, along with all that fresh air, you’re also letting pollen into your home. Instead, close the windows and turn on the air conditioning. Of course, with air conditioning, you should also be sure that your indoor air quality is at peak, so be sure you keep up on maintaining your HVAC system.
Clean and Change Air Filters Regularly
This is something you should do throughout the year, but especially during the summer. Your air filters collect dust and pollen over time. If they become too full, that dust and pollen filters into the air you breathe inside your home. If you’re already sneezing and sniffing, not being able to escape the pollen even in your own home only adds to that frustration.
If you clean your air filters regularly and you still notice poor indoor air quality, there may be a deeper problem with your HVAC system. In this case, don’t try to fix it yourself unless you’re an expert. Instead, call a professional to inspect the issue.
Be Cautious With Over-the-Counter Meds and Nasal Spray
Relying too heavily on over-the-counter medication and nasal sprays could do more harm than good. In fact, allergy experts warn that nasal spray can actually be addictive. Instead, consider talking to an allergist and using natural treatments. Eating onions can reduce histamine reactions, for instance, and foods rich in omega-3, like tuna, are famous for reducing inflammation.
Most importantly, if you want to stay comfortable during allergy season, drink water and get plenty of sleep, your body’s best defense against sickness.