Runny noses, watery, itchy eyes, nagging coughs, itchy skin, headaches, and ohhh the sneezing. Although I'm pretty sure there isn't a person around who's not happy to bid this brutal winter adieu, with the coming season comes air full of new allergens.
Spring allergies are nothing to sneeze at. Ugh, that one's too cheesy even for me, ha! Approximately one-quarter of all Canadians suffer through seasonal allergies, most of them taking antihistamines to combat their symptoms. Though those absolutely work, I've got some additional steps to help stop allergens in their tracks, and offer you some easy ways to survive spring allergies.
10. Vaccuum your mattress to suck up any dust or dust mites. Memory foam is a good option for allergy sufferers, because it's impenetrable to allergens, like dust mites.
9. Pay attention to the bedding you're using. Wash those pillows and cases frequently, use down-alternatives, and use a hypo-allergenic mattress cover, too. We throw our pillows right into the washing machine and dryer quite regularly, with no problems at all.
8. Wash stuffed toys (or freeze them if you have space) that your kids like to snuggle up with. This kills any dust mites that may have taken up residence.
7. Vacuum drapes and window coverings. We often don't realize just how effective these are at catching dust and particles. Whenever your windows are open, drapes can catch all manner of allergens, so frequently vacuuming keeps them allergen-free.
6. Flush your sinuses. Neti Pots are wonderful things! They work to get rid of colds, and are also effective at rinsing allergens out of your nose and sinuses. The reason your nose is running is to flush out the allergens, so a little gentle saline in there can keep it from feeling raw, and help the whole process.
5. Change your furnace/air conditioner filters. Ensuring that you're using HEPA filters will greatly decrease the allergens in your air, all year round. Spring is a great time to make sure your filters are new and clean.
4. Say buh-bye to wall-to-wall carpeting. If possible, avoid carpets entirely. If this isn't feasible, consider having a professional cleaning company come and give your carpets a thorough cleaning, and always use a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to keep allergens as low as possible.
3. Groom your pet(s) frequently, if you've got them. Do your best to keep your pets well-groomed; having them bathed frequently removes dander and loose fur, helping to reduce the amount of airborne allergies to tickle your nose.
2. Shower nightly. Think of all the places you've been during your day, and of all the dust and pollen you've collected. Bringing those allergens into the house is bad enough, but sleeping with them in your hair (and on your pillow) can aggravate allergies. Showering after your day's adventures will wash them all away.
1. Eat healthily! Boosting your immune system with healthy fruits and veggies does wonders for your mood, health, and even allergies. Giving your system some extra oomph helps it when it's combating all those new allergens that'll be flying around the air soon enough.