LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Spring, summer and fall can be rough for allergy sufferers. While we love the beauty and outdoor fun each season brings, the pollen produced by plants, trees, weeds and grasses trigger allergic reactions for millions.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases. More than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies each year and it's the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US, the AAFA said.
When it comes to spring allergies, you don’t need to anticipate the season with dread.
There are steps you can take to proactively dodge allergens and mitigate debilitating symptoms, according to the experts at AccuWeather and AAFA.
Shower in the evening, shampoo hair daily
Are you a morning bather? Experts say that if you suffer from outdoor allergies, you would be wise to switch to evening showers. This will rid your hair and skin of pollen, so you don’t bring it to bed with you.
No matter what time of day you shampoo and scrub, you’ll want to wash your linens in hot water, to remove as much pollen as possible.
Don't open your windows
Fresh air may sound appealing, but opening your car and home’s windows is a fast-track to a high pollen count indoors. For a breeze, stick to air conditioning, as fans can kick up dust and pollen into the air.
Consider Your Wardrobe
Wear sunglasses and a hat. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair. A scarf or mask over your mouth and nose can be useful when symptoms are severe.
When you get home, be sure to remove outerwear, including shoes so you don’t track allergens throughout the house, particularly in areas where you sleep and spend the most time.
You can make smart decisions about your wardrobe as well as the best time to venture outdoors by checking the WHAS App and our website.
- Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Keep your pets out of the bedroom during pollen season. They can track in the yellow gunk and leave it behind on bedding, carpet, and in the air.
- Bathe indoor pets once a week and wash their bedding weekly.
- Remove textiles, such as rugs, curtains, and excess blankets, from the bedroom, as these can be magnets for pollen.
- Clean and dust surfaces at least once a week with a microfiber cloth, which traps pollen, unlike brooms and traditional dusters which can actually spread pollen through the air.
- Vacuum or wash your curtains, as these can be hidden places that pollen accumulated.
- Replace air conditioning filter monthly to stay on top of pollen accumulation
- Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line.
Pollen proof your car
Cars.com offers these tips to help minimize the effect pollen has on you and your family.
- Make sure your car's cabin air filter is changed regularly to filter out pollen -- roughly every 15,000 miles. This filter cleans the air that circulates throughout your car.
- Clean your car between pollen outbreaks and apply a coat of wax, which will make the pollen wash away more easily and might prevent sticky buildup.
You can still enjoy each season and not let sniffles, sneezing and wheezing get the best of you. Be sure to check the weather often and take proper precautions.