Oh, the joys of allergy season. When the joys of cold and flu season begin to let up, it’s pollen’s turn to wreak havoc on our sinuses and immune systems. And for those who also suffer from indoor allergy symptoms or asthma? Well, then the joys never really cease, do they? That’s why it’s extra important to stay ahead of the curve. So we must prepare ourselves and our environment for the changing seasons and changing demands on our bodies. Turns out that pollen season can start as early as February and last all the way into October, depending on where you live (according to the AAAAI). The allergy forecast can vary quite a bit, so make sure you use these tips to help you plan for the upcoming allergy season and give your body the best chance possible to keep to allergy symptoms in check. “Be! Proactive! B – E Proactive!”
- Allergy Symptoms: Know Your Enemies
Time to play Sherlock, friends. Observe yourself. If you notice that you have symptoms in the winter, the most likely culprits are indoor allergens like pet dander, dust mites or even mold, all of which can become even more of a problem once the outdoor allergens start floating around. If you’re having a hard time summoning your inner Benedict Cumberbatch, you can always get yourself tested. Once you know what you’re allergic to, you can better plan for what you need to do to avoid it or treat it. Zippered allergy-resistant bedding can help with dust mites and pet dander, dehumidifiers may be helpful in reducing mold. Getting an air cleaner can be helpful as well (here’s a great guide). If your doctor agrees, you may want to start medication early. With a couple of weeks of lead time, you may be able to ease your symptoms throughout the season.
- Spring Late Winter Cleaning
It might seem early, but in the name of getting ahead of the curve, consider doing a thorough cleaning before Spring even starts. Vacuum with a HEPA filter where allergens tend to accumulate — upholstered furniture, carpets, rugs and where your pets hang out. Vacuum floors often and clean out or change air filters. Make sure to check areas where mold can accumulate too, like basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Check under sinks and mats. Clean out any mold and remember: comebacks are for pop stars, so try to keep humidity under 50% to avoid the mold from attempting one.
And don’t forget to clean out that medicine cabinet! Throw out anything that has expired (we see you, leftover fungus cream from 2 years ago!) and make sure to stock up on the medicine you need, like Cold-EEZE Natural Allergy Relief.
- Allergy Forecast: Track The Pollen
You’re going to want to watch that pollen count like you watch your Instagram likes. Downloading the Weather Channel app could be a great idea in order to stay on top of the allergy forecast. If you can, try not to go out early in the morning or at dusk, when pollen is highest. Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible (in your car too!). If you really want to open them for fresh air (I mean, who needs fresh air?), try getting a window filter. Don’t hang clothes outside to dry, and once you get home, take your clothes off and take a shower to keep pollen from getting in. If you work out in your yard, try wearing a mask or one of those goofy-looking nasal filters.
- Irrigation – not just for crops!
You may have heard of it before, but, weird as it sounds, nasal irrigation may help clean out the spring allergens from your sinuses and help manage your symptoms. You can go low tech, like with a bulb syringe or neti pot, or use a high tech device. Just make sure you use filtered or bottled water. Tap water could cause a dangerous bran infection! Here’s a great guide on how to do it.
- You are what you eat
Of course, one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve, as we well know, is to make sure that your diet is helping your body be in its best condition. Winter can sometimes mean we get a bit more lax with our diets (hello holidays!), so now is a great time to reevaluate and reintroduce plenty of fruits and veggies and anti-inflammatory foods like nuts, fatty fish, leafy greens and blueberries as well as spices like turmeric.
Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? What are the ways that you prepare for the allergy season? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!