It is officially springtime, and while it’s nice having warmer days, this time of the year can be horrible for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. The spring is known to be the “prime season” for asthma and allergies and this often affects the individual’s ability to enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful weather. For those who suffer from this conundrum you are not alone, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), an estimated 45 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. However, there are things you can do to help mitigate the symptoms of allergies and asthma so you can live a full, active lifestyle.
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and in recognition, we bring you some coping tips you can use in order to reduce or prevent attacks and help make you and your environment a bit more allergen friendly.
1. Beware of early mornings
Reschedule your early morning jog or other outdoor activities for later in the day. Between 5 and 10 a.m. pollen counts are at their highest, so if pollen is a trigger for you, you may want to wait until after 10 a.m. to head outdoors. It is recommended to schedule any outdoor activities any time after 12 p.m.
2. Keep an eye on the pollen counts
Before you head out the doors for the day you should always check what the pollen counts are in your area. Your local weather channel might cover this, but if not, head online. Weather websites such as weather.com have an allergy tracker available so you can see what the levels are like before you head out. If the pollen levels are high, try to stay indoors as much as possible.
3. Close those windows
While the outside breeze might feel nice as it enters your home or car, you are letting in unwanted visitors. Forgo the spring and summer wind for air conditioning if you suffer from allergies. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you can reduce indoor pollen exposure by 90 percent by just keeping the windows shut, and turning on the air conditioner.
4. Change your clothes
If you spend a significant amount of time outdoors, make sure you brush yourself before you enter the house and then change your clothes as soon as you can. By brushing yourself off and then changing your clothes you can significantly reduce the chance of pollen being tracked throughout the house. It is also a good idea to wear a hat outside in order to help prevent pollen from attaching itself to your hair and to wash your hands and face often. If you have a pet who goes outside with you, make sure you brush and wash them often, otherwise, they too can track allergens into and around the home.
5. Check and change filters
Another way to help ensure a pollen and allergen free environment is to check your filters on any air purifiers, air conditioners, and on any HEPA-grade vacuum cleaners, you may have in your home. If the filters are dirty and clogged, replace them immediately. Also for your vehicle, be sure to check your cabin air filter, and change if necessary. This will help ensure better air quality by preventing pollen, dust as well as other particles from entering the vehicle.
6. Spring cleaning
Make sure you keep a clean and dust free home in order to help you keep your allergies in check. This means cleaning and dusting regularly, washing linens and bed covers in hot water in order to help kill any and remove any dust mites and bacteria that may be present, and by using eco-friendly ways to rid your house of any vermin. If you have pets, make sure you keep them out of the bedrooms and off the furniture.
7. Get help
If your allergies or asthma are really bad this time of year, make it a priority to see a doctor. Your doctor can help direct and prescribe you medications that may help prevent and treat your symptoms.