Your allergies may have noticed that pollen is out in full force. Runny noses combined with sinus congestion, sneezing, coughing and itchy, watery eyes have returned along with the high pollen counts. The temperatures are on the rise, meaning pollen is here to stay. This time of year many different tips and myths pop up claiming to help ease allergy symptoms, however, many find themselves wondering what works.
Our doctors treat allergies with a three-tier approach, the first of which is avoidance. Keeping your home clean of allergens can help your allergy symptoms, giving you a place to retreat after enjoying the wonderful weather outside. You may be surprised how taking care of a few spring cleaning chores, can help you and your loved ones during allergy season.
Spring Cleaning Chores to Help Ease Allergies:
Get Your Washing Machine Dirty!
Take a weekend this spring to run anything soft through the washing machine. The goal is to remove any dust and pollen that have already made it into your house.
- Wash rugs, curtains, throw pillows, bedding, and blankets.
- If needed, hang dry bedding and rugs inside with a fan on it instead of outside where pollen can settle in again.
- After you’ve given everything a good wash, give the drum of your washer a good clean. Wiping out the drum with a bleach wipe or a washing machine cleaner, this removes dirt, mold, and bacteria that your laundry detergent is not meant to clean.
Vacuum from Top to Bottom!
Get your monies worth out of your vacuum cleaner! A vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will filter out 99.7% of the particles you vacuum up. These filters can reduce the amount of dust and pollen you inhale. Check your filter, and change or clean it out when needed, to ensure maximum particle reduction.
- Vacuum your rugs, floors, and stairways.
- Don’t forget your furniture! Dust can gather in sofas and recliners just as well as it gathers under them.
- Vacuuming will kick up dust, even with a HEPA filter vacuum, so don’t vacuum too close to bedtime and let the dust settle before you sleep.
- Empty your vacuum bag or canister outside to prevent the dust and dirt from getting stirred up inside your home.
Let Your AC Air Out Your House!
After being cooped up all winter, opening all the windows and doors to air out your house is something many look forward too. However for those with allergies, it might be best to let your AC do the work for you.
- Have you changed out your filter for the spring? Now is a perfect time to replace your dirty filter with a fresh one.
- Keep your windows and doors closed, your home’s air filter can capture dust and pollen, reducing the total pollen in your home.
- For more information on environmental control products visit here.
Don’t Let April Showers Bring May Mold!
As springtime weather brings more showers to the area and the temperatures are on the rise, mold can become a problem.
- Basements can be a target area for mold growth, monitor humidity levels and if above 50% consider getting a dehumidifier to dry out the area.
- Your car is another area where mold can grow. Most people spend an average of about 45 minutes a day in their car, change your air filter as recommended and clean damp spots.
Cleaning All Your Odds and Ends
Dust always seems to accumulate before you know it, knick knacks seem to thrive in it. Trade in your feather duster for a microfiber cloth. The microfiber can catch the dust, instead of just moving it around.
- Dust everything on your shelves from your cable box to the top of your books.
- Ceiling and box fans often accumulate dust, cleaning these can prevent dust from circulating in your home.
- Don’t forget about your car! The dashboard is another prime area for dust, wipe it down to cut down on allergens in your car.
After spring cleaning, you should feel relieved you and your family have a great place to retreat too on high pollen days. Peak pollen hours are between 10 am and 2 pm, staying inside can help, however, allergies should never limit your activities. If your allergies are getting worse, schedule an appointment with our allergists and our doctors will help get you back on track.