As spring rolls around, the expectations are high–flowers are blooming and the world seems to be alive and new. And, in some ways, perhaps too alive and new. It’s not just expectations that are high; so is the pollen count.
With spring comes spring allergies, bringing unfortunate side effects that’ll often stick around: stuffy noses, red and itchy eyes, and itching throats.
The root of most of these allergies is, in fact, the flower. Pollen from weeds, grasses, and trees all come together until around June, spreading torment for allergy sufferers everywhere.
While there’s no way to get away from the pollen all together, there are ways to keep allergies from getting worse, as long as these simple tips are followed.
Don’t Shower in the Morning
While this sounds far-fetched, showering in the morning actually does worsen allergies during spring. It’s not so much the shower that’s at fault, though. If you shower in the morning, by the time you get back inside, you’ll be covered head to toe in pollen particles, especially with most grasses and trees releasing pollen in the morning.
You can either move shower time until after work or take two a day – one in the morning and another after getting back from work – until pollen season ends.
Don’t Wear Shoes Inside
If you thought the first suggestion sounded crazy, you must be reeling now. But just like the shower isn’t the problem, it’s not the shoes causing the sniffles.
Wearing shoes after being outside for long periods of time inside the house means that pollen from the air and the ground collects in your shoes. Walking around the house with them on means now every room contains pollen, giving you no relief.
Take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house, leaving them in a single spot. Clean them off if you spent the day running outside.
Sometimes, when allergies start, they’re not so bad–just a sniffle here and there and the occasional cough. So, oftentimes, people will try to avoid taking over the counter medication, even the more convenient brands that last 24 hours.
But it’s always best to take the medication as soon as symptoms occur or even before they do. Taking the medication at night in anticipation for the morning’s allergy fit will help lower symptoms by the time you wake up.
Remember, a tickle in the throat can transform into a sore throat as soon as you step outside, so it’s best to take safety precautions, especially if you don’t know how much pollen there is outside.
Check the Pollen Count
The amount of pollen for the day can often be tracked and kept count of. Oftentimes, the local news channel can tell you what to expect for that day. If not, pollen.com keeps track of pollen counts all over the country.
Don’t leave the house blind to what to expect, especially if it’s for something that’s not urgent or will require you to be outside for long stretches of time. If the pollen count is too high that day, try to reschedule or take medication beforehand.
Don’t Leave the Windows Open
Out of all the advice given, this seems to be the most obvious. Pollen travels in the wind, so leaving your window open is a sure way to invite the little particles to spread themselves out all over your house, leaving no corner safe.
Spring is a beautiful time, with an array of plants blooming, animals coming back from the winter, and beautiful weather. But, if you can help it, it’s best to enjoy what springs has to offer through the window pane.
If you insist on going out or opening that window, though, take all the precautions stated above. Don’t let hay fever ruin your enjoyment of spring. Just remember to play it safe and play it smart this pollen season.
(By Nathalie Mairena)