Flowers are blooming, tree pollen is wafting through the air but you have to get your spring cleaning done. What do you do when you suffer from springtime allergies? The answer is -- there are actually several things you can do to avoid or minimize that stuffy or runny nose, congestions, headache and itchy eyes. Here are just a few ideas to help you reduce your allergy or hay fever symptoms and help you to get on with your work without the suffering.
Springtime Allergies: Common Exacerbators
So much springs to life in this season that the list of common allergy exacerbators can be quite overwhelming. However, the allergens most commonly seen causing issues during spring cleaning are:
- pollen (from trees and flowers)
- mold spores
- pet dander
Limiting Your Springtime Allergies
If you have springtime allergies opt to start your spring cleaning early before tree pollen and other allergens becomes more abundant in the air. This will allow you to be able to open your windows and doors while you work in order to help prevent breathing in the circulating dust and perhaps even mold particles that can get stirred up. However, if you do not start your work early avoid having your doors and windows open, especially if there is a breeze outside as this will bring in more allergens.
Wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth to reduce spring allergens that are lurking in your home and in the air from being inhaled during cleaning is another option. If you are concerned about how you will look donning a face mask -- schedule your cleaning for when you have the house to yourself. Good masks , with built in filters, can often be found in home improvement stores such as Home Depot or anywhere that caters to construction types of work. You may also be able to pick one up from your physicians or allergy specialists office.
Turn on the air conditioner. Keeping your air conditioner on will keep the air circulating and filtered which can help prevent allergens from settling in your home and can greatly reduce your occurrence of spring time allergies and symptoms. Be sure if you air conditioner uses filters to change or clean them regularly and use HEPA filters, when possible as these are designed to help trap irritants that can trigger hay fever.
A dehumidifier can also be used, as you work, to keep the air dry. Moist air can be a breeding ground for allergens. A dehumidifier will suck in damp air, suck the moisture from it and expel a slightly warmer, drier air.
Vacuum first and vacuum regularly to collect settled pollen, dirt, pet dander and other allergens. Be sure when using bag model vacuums to always use hepa filtered bags and change them out when they get full to reduce the amount of allergens released back into the air.
If you use antihistamines you can take them before you start cleaning, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms yet. This will give them a chance to kick in and start working before you end up with itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose.
Keep it indoors. Do not place laundry, clothes, rugs or other items outside to air or dry. Anything placed outside in the spring time has a high chance of picking up pollens and other irritants that you want to avoid. This can happen with the clothes you wear as well, so if you take a trip outdoors, change your clothes promptly after returning indoors.