SALT LAKE CITY — Every year, just when leaves start budding and the air temperature turns friendly, spring allergies threaten to make lives miserable. While it is impossible to rid plants of their pollen, there are many different ways to make spring allergy time easier. The following are over a dozen ideas to help limit the pollen in your life.
1. Shower every day. If you’re one of those lucky people who can go days without washing your hair, spring is the time to change your habits. The hairs on your body, especially your head, trap pollen and can make allergies more intense. So wash yourself every day if you want an easier time breathing.
2. Change the air filter. After going through the winter, your air filter needs to be changed in order to help keep the pollen out of your home. Make sure the new air filter in your central furnace/ air conditioner is a quality one; otherwise you could end up aggravating, instead of helping, your allergies.
3. Close the windows. When temperatures warm up it’s always tempting to bring some of that lovely fresh air inside. But those open windows allow pollen in the house, so close them up. If keeping windows closed is too difficult, then at least check your local pollen count to see when the safest times to open them are.
4. Wear a dust mask. When working outside, wear a dust mask to help limit your pollen consumption. Yeah, the neighbors might think you look a little funny, but breathing is more important than making fashion statements.
5. Wear sunglasses. Eyes are especially sensitive to seasonal allergies. Wear sunglasses to block pollen from irritating your eyes.
6. Remove those shoes. While the traction on shoe bottoms helps with balance, it also makes excellent transportation vehicles for pollen. Take your shoes off as soon as you enter your home to limit pollen spreading throughout the house. 7. Consume omega-3. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can help calm allergy symptoms. Try to boost your intake of omega-3 foods or take a supplement. Foods such as tuna, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter and kale are good sources of omega-3.
8. Go for the meds. Take an oral antihistamine. If one brand doesn’t work, try another one. Don’t just give up on all medications because a particular one made you drowsy. Different people react to different medications, so give those meds a try.
9. Don’t cuddle with pets. If your pets spend time outdoors, limit your time touching them, especially when sleeping. Especially make sure to keep those pets off the bed because their fur can carry a lot of pollen into your home.
10. Clean out those sinuses. Nose hairs are made to trap particles and they do an excellent job keeping bits of pollen in your nose, thereby prolonging allergy sufferings. Rinsing your sinuses using a Neti pot can help minimize stuffy noses and alleviate some irritations.
11. Get allergy shots. While many people have found relief through allergy shots, they do take time and planning. These shots often have to be started during winter months and continued throughout the year. However, they can be highly effective and worth the money and effort.
12. Drink water. Water helps clear toxins out of the body. Drinking more water during allergy season can help clean out congestion and ease puffiness due to allergies.
13. Limit time outside. If you have to go out there, go outside after a rainstorm, when pollen counts are lower. Or, if you’re really desperate, ask someone else to do the yard work for you.
14. Wash the bedding. Wash your bedding, especially the pillow cases, more than usual. With pollen on our bodies and in our hair, it’s easy for us to spread all that nature around in the bed sheets. And, since we spend a large percentage of our lives sleeping, it helps for those surroundings to be as pollen-free as possible.
The good news about seasonal allergies is they can be dealt with using a little planning. Also, as spring turns to summer, those irritating bits of pollen eventually go away. What methods have you found helpful in your quest to enjoy spring? Share your ideas in the comments and hopefully others can find relief as well.
Elizabeth Reid has bachelor's degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. She blogs at gelatoandchocolate.blogspot.com.