How to prepare for allergy season this year


woman sneezing in front of flowering trees

Photo: Africa study (Shutterstock)

Spring allergies are on the way, if they haven’t started yet. Tree pollen tends to start blowing in the wind early spring, followed by grass pollen a month or two later. If your eyes haven’t started itching yet, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

Check with your doctor

If you see an allergist regularly, or if you haven’t but intended to, consider making an appointment. It will be easier for you to avoid the specific things you are allergic to if you know what they are, and an allergy test can help you determine if pollen is really your main concern or if your allergies are more likely related to mold or dust. . Different trees and plants bloom at different times, so a little knowledge can go a long way toward avoiding allergens.

Refill any prescription medicine that has been out of stock since last year. As you do so, ask what is the best time to start taking them. Antihistamines work best if you take them before you start having symptoms, so some providers recommend taking your medications about two weeks before your allergies tend to flare up. If you’re not sure what date it would be, take notes this year and set a reminder on your calendar for next year.

Do a spring cleaning

Dust is another common allergen, and dust can also harbor pollen grains that have been blown or blown away from the outside. Cleaning your home can help eliminate those allergens, whatever they may be. Wear a dust mask, such as an N95 or similar, if you have one, to avoid breathing in the dust you are kicking up.

Mold spores are another common allergen, and spring rains and humid weather can increase the amount of mold in your home, so keep an eye out for mold stains on walls that need to be cleaned or moldy objects that are better off. The trash.

Furthermore, cHang the air filter on your heating or air conditioning system. (It is recommended to change many every three months, but check the instructions for yours.) If you have an air purifier, check your filter too.

Check out our room-by-room tips on protecting your home from allergies this springThey range from small items like keeping your dog’s pollen-laden fur out of your bed, to large items like considering whether it’s time to tear up your rugs and switch to hardwood floors.

Observe the pollen counts

Pollen blows more dry, windy days, but rain tends to wash it away temporarily. You can find a pollen count and even a pollen forecast from most weather services; some even break the forecast types in pollen from trees, grasses and ragweed. (Ragweed is an allergy to fall.)

When pollen counts are high, you’ll want to stay indoors with the windows closed. As nice as a cool breeze can be, it’s best for your allergies to use an indoor fan or turn up the air conditioning a bit.

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