Spring is in the air! And pollen, too … which means the sniffling, sneezing, and itchiness of allergies are soon to follow. But you don’t have to resign yourself to weeks of congested misery—there are ways to prevent symptoms and still enjoy the season.
Here are our top 10 do’s and don’ts for managing allergies this spring:
- DO plan ahead. If you know your allergy seasons, set a reminder for yourself to avoid pollen, mold, and any other triggers.
- DO wear a dust mask during lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- DO shower when you come inside after being outdoors. It’s important to rinse the pollen off your hair and body.
- DON’T spend time outside when pollen counts are high. Check local pollen and mold counts every day. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- DON’T hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- DO keep your indoor air clean. Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your den and bedroom. VACUUM AND DUST FREQUENTLY with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
- DO use a dehumidifier to keep indoor air dry. Ideally, indoor humidity should stay below 50 percent to prevent mold.
- DON’T forget to clean or replace air filters in your house and follow regular maintenance schedules for AC systems.
- DON’T open the windows at home and in your car. As much as you might want to enjoy the warmer weather, it’s not worth the risk of having your allergies flare.
- DON’T try to tough it out. If none of these tips help you find allergy relief, talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can prescribe treatments such as allergy medications or allergy shots.