Springtime means warmer weather, budding flowers, and plenty of time outside. But, for millions of Americans, it also means non-stop sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses. Rainy, wet winters, followed by rising temperatures, encourage pollen release into the air. Add in strong winds, and pollen particles fly everywhere, entering our nasal passages, eyes, and throats and triggering common allergy symptoms. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks to keep pollen at bay and survive allergy season.
1. Try Saltwater. Saline solutions are an excellent alternative for those who struggle with the drowsy side effects of typical over-the-counter allergy medications. Nasal sprays, neti-pots, and saltwater gargles help remove pollen and minimize symptoms.
2. Close your Windows As much as we all love the windows open on a warm spring day, pollen can travel inside your home or car, aggravating symptoms. Please keep your windows closed and a pollen-free safe zone in your home or car.
3. Don't Line Dry Wet bedding, clothes, and linens act as magnets for pollen when drying. To prevent more pollen from entering your home, tumble dry or line dry inside all bedding, clothing, and other linens, especially on high pollen count days.
4. Wear Sunglasses Protecting your eyes during allergy season is essential, as pollen will travel into your eyes, exasperating symptoms. Additionally, protective eyewear keeps you from touching your eyes, reducing pollen travel.
5. Wash Your Hair at Night Remove any pollen gathered during the day by washing your hair at night, especially if you wear hair products, which can act as a trap for pollen.
6. Leave Shoes and Bags at the Door. Pollen can travel on all clothing items, especially shoes. Leave your shoes at the door when you enter your house to reduce the pollen that travels through your home.
7. Wash the Bedding in Hot Water. Despite our hard work, some pollen may still end up in our beds. Considering how much time we spend in bed, this is the last place we want to be breathing in extra pollen. Wash your sheets often and in hot water -- which has been shown to reduce pollen more than washing in warm water.