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Spring allergy alert: 12 ways to prevent pollen problems


Achoo! Allergies are alarming during peak pollen season. Sniffles, snorts, stuffy noses and sometimes subsequent sinus infections can make the warm weather hardly a picnic for those affected by seasonal allergies.

Are you allergic to grass, hay, trees or other pollen producers? If the entire blooming season sets you to sneezing, check out these 12 practical pointers for minimizing the problems of pollen.

1. Check pollen counts daily.

Several organizations offer allergy forecasts for specific regions. Look up your own area on AAAAI’s National Allergy Bureau, Pollen.com, Weather.com , and other informative sites. If the allergy counts skyrocket on a given day, consider making indoor plans for your health and comfort.

2. Close the windows at home.

Sure, it can be costly to run the air conditioning all spring and summer, but open windows issue invitations to airborne allergens.

3. Replace air conditioning and furnace filters.

Find hypoallergenic filters for your home heating and air conditioning units. An indoor air quality attachment may be a worthy investment, if you or family members have allergies. Some attachments even add moisture to the air inside the home, which can help with congestion and other allergy-related respiratory symptoms.

Consider using a humidifier, at least overnight, if allergies cause sinus congestion or a cough.
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4. Cover pillows and mattresses.

Anti-allergen pillow and mattress covers are bonuses to those who need them. Dust, mites, and mold can build up inside bedding. The extra layer offers protection.

5. Banish pets from beds.

Even those without pet or pet dander allergies may want to keep animals off beds and upholstered furniture during allergy season. Think about it. Have furry friends been rolling around outside?

6. Take an antihistamine.

Over-the-counter allergy medications can prevent flare-ups. In severe cases, prescription allergy drugs or even allergy shots may be needed. Beware of overuse of allergy drops, which can cause rebound symptoms.
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7. Put hair up.
Airborne pollen, dust and other allergens are likely to collect in long, free-flowing locks. Prevent this by tying hair up, pinning it back, or wearing a scarf or hat outdoors.

8. Sport sunglasses.

Shades are super for stopping pollen and particles from entering the eyes. Also, direct sunlight tends to be uncomfortable to allergy sufferers’ eyes. Protective sunglasses are great.

9. Cover your face for outdoor exercise.

Allergies may rile runners, trip up joggers, and harass horticulturalists. A simple cotton bandanna or kerchief can keep pollen and dust from entering the nose and mouth. Some folks prefer to retain and use disposable medical masks, such as those offered freely in hospital lobbies and hallways.

10. Enjoy outdoor activity when weather cooperates with allergies.

Strong winds send allergens flying all around, but a fresh rain brings them down. Allergy sufferers tend to prefer bicycling, power walking, running, gardening, or even picnicking after a rainstorm. The air is fresh and clean at such times.

11. Run the air conditioning on the road.

It’s fun to drive fast with the car windows down and the music cranked in warm weather. However, any allergic person may cry foul. When pollen counts run high, it’s safer to roll up those windows and enjoy the recirculation of  cool air instead.

12. Shower before bed.

This may be the single most important problem prevention pointer of all. Even non-allergy sufferers swear by the bedtime shower as a way of removing dust, mold, pollen, or other bothersome particles. Why take a full day’s worth of contaminants to bed, where they may be spread to the pillow, sheets and covers?

A few simple steps can make a huge difference in improving the entire season by reducing allergies’ effects.

And that’s nothing to sneeze at, so to speak.
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Related Items:

Image/s:  
Pollen in Flower
Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons Photos
Sneeze by McFarlandMo
Creative Commons Licensing/Wikipedia Commons Photos
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