As far as I’m concerned, there is no worse season for allergies than spring, though I’m sure there are some of you out there who may disagree. But for me, the flowers blooming and all of the pollen flying through the air, the trees’ leaves growing back, people cutting their grass all adds up to a terrible allergy season. But try as they might, allergies don’t keep me down. I do some of the following things to help beat allergies.
There are plenty of websites out there that can forecast allergens in the air. Weather.com offers pollen and allergy forecasts—that’s the one I use—but there are others that work just as well. It gives you a good idea how bad the allergens will be on a particular day. Personally, I use it to plan my morning run. If I’m in for a particularly bad day, I’ll try to hit the concrete jungle, somewhere without a lot of grass or flowers around. If it’s particularly bad, I’ll just go to the gym. On lighter days, I’ll take trips through the park and enjoy the scenery.
Change Your Filter
My son’s allergies are relatively bad year round, so I keep a pretty sturdy filter in my furnace anyway. But not everyone does that. Check out the MERV rating on your filter. If you’re using one rated between 5 and 8, and you notice your allergies getting worse, replace it with a heavier one: try MERV 9-12. If there’s nasty stuff in the air, and you don’t have a filter in your furnace to catch it, it’s going to get into your house. There’s not a thing wrong with opting for different types of filters for different seasons.
I’m not at all above taking an allergy pill. There are a lot of over-the-counter medications out there, though, so know what you’re looking for. Do the research and make sure the one you’re taking is going to do what you need it to. If you have other health problems, it’s probably best to just consult your doctor and see what he or she recommends. I’m no doctor, but I know that taking a 24-hour allergy pill in the morning normally does the trick for me.
Wash and Clean
The way those allergens get caught in the fabric of your furnace filter? Same thing happens, more or less, with your clothes and furniture. If you’ve been outside, pollen and his nasty friends will settle in your hair, into the fabric of your clothes, and anywhere else it can land. Wash up when you come inside, even if it’s just your hands and splashing water in your face. And vacuum, especially if you don’t have a high rated filter in your furnace. Steam cleaning can really help too: the water will capture all the nasty things that you won’t get with a vacuum.
OK, so what about you? How do you beat the spring allergies? Share your tips with us. I’ll probably borrow a few of them myself.