When spring is in the air, so is pollen, mold, and other allergy triggers. If you’re 1 of the millions of people who suffer from stuffy sinuses, sneezing, and red, itchy eyes at this time of year, follow these steps to help prevent symptoms.
In the spring, trees, shrubs, and grasses release billions of tiny pollen grains into the air. To reduce your exposure:
Don't do outdoor activities in the early morning. This is a peak time for pollen. Allergy symptoms are also more likely to get worse in the late evening.
Stay inside when it’s windy and on days when the pollen count is high.
Wear a filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing other outdoor chores.
Close bedroom windows at night. Use air conditioning when pollen counts are high. Be sure to clean filters regularly.
Keep car windows up and the air conditioner on when driving.
Keep pets out of the bedroom. This is because pollen sticks to fur.
To remove pollen after being outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes.
Molds release tiny spores (indoors and out) that can trigger mold allergies. To reduce your exposure:
Stay away from hay, straw, and areas with lots of plants.
Don’t rake leaves. If you must rake, wear a filter mask.
In warm weather, use an air conditioner to cool and dry indoor air.
Clean hard surfaces with a bleach-and-water solution.
Dust mites live in upholstery, bedding, and carpets. Spring cleaning can stir them up. To reduce your exposure:
Vacuum weekly. Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that traps dust. Wear a dust mask while vacuuming.
Use allergy-proof covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs.
Wash bedding in hot water once a week.