Seasonal allergies are no joke. A runny nose and itchy eye for some, but a living nightmare for others to the point of debilitating headaches and respiratory problems. Whatever the case, the beginning of Spring is a good time to take some precautions and small changes that can help in minimizing the effects of seasonal allergies.
It’s also important to know exactly what causes your allergies. If you’re still not sure, I’ll lay down some ways to discover your problem by process of elimination. But if you already know, then it’s about taking precautions to prevent them from triggering as much as possible.
Now, let’s learn how to deal with seasonal allergies in the best possible way so that you can enjoy the season in peace!
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." – Arthur Ashe
Start with the basics
Alright, let’s start with a basic seasonal allergies guide. Whether you know what causes your allergies or not, these basic steps will help you either identify the issue or minimize the symptoms while staying at home.
Inspect for mold. Mold can be a serious trigger for allergies, so it’s crucial to make sure you don’t have mold growth hidden around your home. Inspect for mold in plain sight, nooks and crannies, and if possible in the attic. To not risk your allergies, it may be better to hire a mold specialist.
Hire a local house cleaner. A great way to start is to get yourself a proper deep cleaning with a professional house cleaner – and I think hiring someone is better here because you don’t want to trigger your allergies while cleaning. Otherwise you’d probably have a really bad time and accentuate the symptoms.
Clean your nose. Your nose will probably be the first to get irritated, so try to keep it clean and hydrated as much as possible by using a saline solution – even a homemade one. Get a couple drops of water with a touch of salt in your nose every now and then if you feel them getting irritated. This won’t prevent or stop an allergic reaction, but it minimizes the symptom while you figure out how to deal with the rest.
With that, you have a clean home and hopefully there’s no mold problem to worry about. Now let’s get into the next steps.
Be smart with landscaping
Plants and trees can cause extreme discomfort for people with allergies caused by pollen, which is why a lot of people suffer from seasonal allergies in Spring. This problem tends to be exacerbated because this season is when flowers are typically blooming and pollen flies all over the place.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden. Assuming your allergies aren’t too aggressive, you just need the right kind. Some flowers have considerably less pollen or none at all, and certain trees are much friendlier when it comes to allergies.
Talk to a local landscaper and ask about hypoallergenic plants and trees – these are the variations that are less likely to cause allergies.
Control your indoor air humidity
Going out and facing really dry air can trigger allergies, but staying indoors when the air is too humid can also cause problems.
Basically, you want to keep indoor air humidity at a nice balance – usually at 50%.
Dry air will quickly irritate your nostrils and eyes, making it hard to breath and causing itches in your eyes. But while humidity is good to soothe these allergic reactions, cranking the humidity way up would just make the place prone to housing mold and other bacteria.
In short, humidity indoors should be at a comfortable 50%. Use a humidifier if it dips too low, but use a thermostat to make sure it doesn’t sit too high for extended periods of time.
Careful with stored clothes
The clothes you keep in the closet for a long time can accumulate a lot of dust and smell really musty. For some people this causes such a strong reaction that they start sneezing the second they open closet doors.
The best way to prevent this is to remember to open the closet doors regularly, even better if there’s a bit of sun entering the room.
But if that’s not possible, here are a few other tips to remove musty smell from your clothes:
- Avoid storing clothes before they’re properly dry
- Look for mold growth in your closet and walls(since it not only affects your health, but can also ruin your clothes)
- Add a small container of baking soda to your closet (it helps in absorbing humidity)
- As mentioned above, remember to open the closet regularly
The main reason your clothes smell weird when stored away is due to humidity and mold. The clothes absorb humidity and that leads to mold growth. The longer the clothes are stored and away from any sunlight or fresh air, the more likely this is to happen. Follow the tips above to prevent this!
Maintain your HVAC system
A well maintained HVAC system is excellent for staying indoors when you have allergies, since it can help in controlling air humidity and making sure you’re receiving fresh air while avoiding allergens present outdoors. Perfect!
The most important part are the air filters. They’re responsible for preventing allergens from reaching you. But your air ducts need to be cleaned regularly as well, since allergens, bacteria, and debris from the outside can accumulate in there.During this season it would be wise to perform a full checkup on your HVAC system, most importantly to replace your filters regularly. This will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions, but usually it should be done every few months (from 3 to 6 depending on the filter’s density and effectiveness).
Mind your carpets
If you have carpets and allergies, you should probably lose the former unless you want to keep the latter. Carpets can gather a lot of dust, pet hair and bacteria, all of which are terrible for your allergies any time of the year.
You usually want to avoid any sort of carpet or fabrics in the living room, as these can gather and collect a lot of dust. Regardless, it’s a good idea to vacuum regularly instead of sweeping, since this is a more effective way to get rid of dust and it doesn’t bring them up in the air as much.
To make sure your allergies are under control, it’s a good idea to start with a deep house cleaning. Get free quotes from professional house cleaners in your area and kickstart your plans for the season!