Ways to reduce the impact of environmental allergens

A warm spring and one of the driest summers in recent memory has not only caused problems for farmers, but for allergy sufferers, as well. Without ample rain to wash pollen into storm sewers, pollen has been released into the air in much higher levels than it would be during normal weather conditions.

The dry, hot weather has made many allergy-sufferers miserable. But a few simple steps can help

  • Close your windows. As relaxing as it may be to sleep with the windows open at night, that’s not the best idea for allergy sufferers. When pollen levels are high, keep windows closed, and limit the amount of time you spend outside. You may be able to open windows for a few hours in the morning, when pollen counts are lower.  
  • Change air filters. Keeping windows closed may help keep pollen out, but you can track-in all sorts of pollutants without even realizing it. To minimize the effect of allergens in the home, change air filters often – monthly, in warmer months. And choose an air filter that can remove pollen and mold spores.
  • Clean regularly. Vacuuming regularly should help remove allergens that have settled into the carpet or rugs. Use a HEPA filter to reduce the amount of dust kicked-up by vacuuming, and wear a dust mask, if you have to do the cleaning yourself. Dusting with a damp cloth gets rid of dust that has settled onto other surfaces. In addition, wash your bedding weekly in hot water to remove allergens that have settled into it and ensure that the place you spend more of your time than anywhere else is clean. You can also add dust-mite-proof covers to mattresses and box springs to repel allergens
  • Groom pets: Pets that spend time outdoors can track pollen through your home. Brush and groom pets regularly, washing dogs once a week when pollen levels are high. And don’t allow dogs in your bed.
  • Control humidity: Even though people typically use a dehumidifier during the summer and a humidifier during the winter, consider breaking out your humidifier any time the air is dry – even in the summer. Adding moisture to the air you breathe can help keep your body’s defenses ready to remove allergens before they present health issues. Just make sure your indoor humidity stays below percent to help reduce the chance of mold and mildew growth, which can cause allergic reactions, too.

Stay healthy

Regardless of what the weather is like outside, you have plenty of strategies at your disposal to stay healthy through any season. Keep your indoor environment clean and take steps to keep outdoor allergens from coming inside. With a few preventative measures, you can stay as healthy as possible so you can enjoy all the fun activities the summer has to offer!

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