What You Can Do Now to Prepare for Spring Allergies

While it’s true that pollen and mold levels haven’t hit their peak yet—that doesn’t happen until the beginning of June for Michigan—you shouldn’t just sit back and wait for your spring allergies to hit. In fact, you can cut way down on your future misery if you take certain steps now. Think of this as your pre-allergy season checklist:

  1. See an allergist. Why wait until your eyes are red and itchy and your nose won’t stop running to get medical help? An allergist can conduct tests to find out what exactly you’re allergic to and come up with a treatment plan. You might even be prescribed medication that, if taken regularly in the coming weeks, can cut down on symptoms.
  2. Resist the temptation to open your windows. Yes it’s been a long winter, but when you suffer from allergies, flinging your windows open to let the outside air in is a bad idea. That’s because those fresh breezes that smell so good carry pollen into your home—the exact thing that makes your allergies go crazy.
  3. Change the filters. HEPA filters in your home will rid the air you breathe of allergens, but they can’t work if they’re clogged with a years-worth of irritants. Pull them out once a month or so and replace them if they’re dirty.
  4. Get in the habit of checking allergen levels. Websites like pollen.com or The Weather Channel will tell you what the pollen level is in your zip code. Don’t do yard work or exercise outside on days when the level is especially high.
  5. Rid your home of mold and mites. It’s not just the outdoor allergens that can make you miserable—mold and dust mites inside your home can be just as bad. For the mold, check spots like bathrooms and basements for any visual sign and set up a dehumidifier in especially damp places. As for dust mites, you’ll have to examine your bedding. A mattress can have up to 10 million of them, so start using a mattress cover that blocks them. If you aren’t sure whether or not dust mites are an issue, you can find out by taking this quiz:

 

If you have a child who suffers from seasonal allergies, learn what you can do to help. And for other allergy-fighting tips, check out these blogs:

 

 

Photo credit: See-ming Lee

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