Spring allergies are never fun, but this year is proving to be the bear of the bunch due to wonky weather and the Polar Vortex. Or, so it seems …
Using data from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, scientists conclude that <a title="American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology" href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306130050.htm" target="_blank">spring allergies are on the rise</a> and that more Americans are impacted every year, although the bigger numbers could be attributed to an ever-rising population and more people complaining about symptoms. In other words: more people = more allergies.
Regardless, if you’re a person with allergies to all things green you probably <em>feel</em> like it’s the worst allergy season yet and that’s really all that matters. Here are five tips that should ease your sneeze:
<strong>1. Keep your meds handy.</strong>
This is the first line of defense and for people with serious allergies it’s no joke. Thankfully, indoor/outdoor allergies are the least lethal, but according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America they are among the most prevalent, impacting <a title="Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America" href="http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30" target="_blank">40 million Americans as a primary allergy</a>.
So, keep that inhaler and those antihistamines close! You never know when the breeze is going to blow trouble your way.
<strong>2. Vacuum your carpets / rugs / furniture.</strong>
Airborne allergens can settle into your rugs, carpet and upholstered furniture that will bedevil you all spring long, and that’s not to mention all the other particulate that settles in there that’s not weather-related. A vacuum with a HEPA filter will do the most good, but sweeping frequency is the key to cutting down on irritants.
Try vacuuming once a week if you’re really sensitive. Also, try to wash your area rugs at the height of the season and limit further exposure by making sure windows stay closed so the bad stuff can’t blow through.
<strong>3. Dust more frequently. </strong>
Dusting is zero fun and can appear to do more harm than good, but if you use a damp cloth once a week to keep ahead of it you’ll feel a lot better without having to load up on nasal spray and pills.
A standalone HEPA <a title="Air Purifiers" href="http://www.atgstores.com/air-purifiers_1421.html" target="_blank">air purifier</a> can also help in the war against dust, as can running your air conditioner – although not recommended if not also being used for cooling purposes.
<strong>4. Allergen-proof your bed.</strong>
Hypoallergenic bedding is no joke and even gets a nod from the <a title=" Mayo Clinic" href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy/art-20049365" target="_blank">Mayo Clinic</a>. There are <a title="Hypoallergenic Pillows" href="http://www.atgstores.com/hypoallergenic-bed-pillows_1588_oa0221413.html" target="_blank">hypoallergenic pillows</a> and <a title="Hypoallergenic Mattress Toppers" href="http://www.atgstores.com/hypoallergenic-mattress-pads-toppers_1591_oa0390496.html" target="_blank">mattress toppers</a>, and experts also recommend synthetic bedding for those with serious allergies to reduce the chance of a reaction to natural materials.
Most importantly, though, is that you should wash your linens frequently (once a week is recommended) to keep them free of airborne pollens and other allergens that are heavier in spring.
<strong>5. Use a dehumidifier.</strong>
Dust mites will only compound the allergy problems brought on by spring greens, but you can get them under better control with a dehumidifier. Dust mites thrive in moist air that gets moister by the minute as spring settles into summer and <a title="National Institutes of Health" href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000487.htm" target="_blank">bringing that moisture down to between 30-50%</a> can make your home even more inhospitable to mites.
<a title="ATG Stores Home Page" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips help make your spring a little more allergy-free.