Many seasonal allergy sufferers are already bracing themselves for the full-frontal assault that is about to take place on their respiratory systems. Spring is known for respiratory allergies, characterized by sinus congestion, runny noses, post-nasal drip, sneezing, coughing, and itchy or watering eyes. To ensure that you prepare for the oncoming allergens, let’s get proactive by looking at how you can get ready for spring allergies today.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to mention that the most significant thing you can do to prepare for seasonal allergies is to know precisely what you are reacting to. Many people try to treat allergies with a generic over-the-counter medication and may not find relief. One of the main problems with that is that they don’t actually know what they are reacting to! If you have never scheduled an allergy test, that’s a great first step. Having specific information about what you are allergic to gives you the power to create an effective relief strategy.
Next, start treatment early. In many parts of the U.S., tree pollen levels begin to rise as early as the end of February. Even though the calendar says that it is technically winter, spring allergens are there to wreak havoc on your respiratory system. Don’t wait until your system is full of inflammation to take action. Whether you treat with OTC, prescription, or natural remedies, starting treatment early is key.
Spring cleaning is the next step in preparing for allergy season. A fresh start to spring may seem like a given, but it’s crucial, nonetheless. A good checklist includes:
- changing air filters
- washing windows and screens
- washing curtains
- vacuuming your mattress
- cleaning ceiling fans
- deep cleaning carpets and hard floors
- dusting baseboards
A good spring cleaning will ensure you’re finding all the little places where allergens might be hiding. Give special attention to any damp areas where mold may be lurking. Controlling mold is an essential part of managing allergens indoors. Basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are common culprits.
Don't ignore it if you know you have issues with mold developing in certain areas. While mold isn’t necessarily a springtime allergy, the symptoms are similar and can keep the system in a state of reaction, even triggering asthmatic episodes.
Now that you know what you’re allergic to and you’ve cleaned your spaces, tracking pollen counts is the next line of defense. Apps like My Pollen Forecast on iPhone are great for having up-to-date and extended forecast information available at your fingertips. Knowing that pollen counts are higher in the morning when you usually walk the dog or go for a run is valuable info to have as you plan out your week. Referencing pollen forecasts before you make plans may save you from miserable consequences later.