In Georgia, spring is just around the corner. For many people, the earliest indicators of spring aren’t necessarily the crocus blossoms and tiny new leaf growth, but those pesky, annoying symptoms that go hand-in-hand with spring allergies. The one good thing about spring allergies: They always occur at about the same time of the year, and that means you’ve got time to plan a little counterattack of your own to help reduce your symptoms or even prevent them from occurring.
Beating spring allergies at their own game
Spring allergies usually are caused by increasing numbers of pollen particles and mold spores. But no matter what causes your symptoms, they're still plenty annoying. Whether you suffer from symptoms like a scratchy throat, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, itchy skin, or extra feelings of fatigue, allergy symptoms can interfere with your life in lots of ways. If you’d like to short-circuit your symptoms this year, here are five ways to do it.
1. Keep track of the pollen levels
During springtime, it’s those beautiful blooms and baby leaves that cause most of the pollen problems. You can predict pollen peaks just by watching your garden. But for more accuracy, check the weather forecast. Most local news channels feature a pollen count in their weather reports once warm days draw near, but if yours doesn’t, check out online weather sources like Weather.com. Early morning and dusk tend to be when pollen counts are highest, so try to stay indoors during those times.
2. Keep your windows closed
Staying indoors when the pollen count is high can help a lot to reduce your spring allergy symptoms, but not so much if you keep your windows wide open. Yes, those spring breezes and fresh air can be tempting after a winter of being shut inside, but those breezes also carry a lot of pollen. Once indoors, those tiny particles can be just as bothersome as they are outdoors. The same is true when you’re in the car: Keep your windows up and run your air conditioner to filter the outside air before you breathe it in.
3. Speaking of indoor air … change your filters
Most of us think of changing our HVAC filters in the winter before we crank up the furnace. But it’s also important to change the filters in the spring. Not only will this cut down on recirculating mold spores that might have been trapped by the filter, but it also helps the filters work more efficiently at trapping new spores and pollen so indoor air quality is improved. In fact, it’s a good idea to change those filters every three months regardless of the season just to make sure your indoor air is as clean as possible.
4. Do a deep clean
The benefits of spring cleaning aren’t an old wives’ tale. Spring cleaning helps get rid of dust and mold in areas of your house that don’t get cleaned during your normal house-cleaning routine. During the spring, pay special attention to carpets and drapes (magnets for dust and pollen), launder duvet covers and quilts, and look out for mold and mildew in your basement and under your sinks. Even if your home was nice and dry during the winter, spring tends to be damp, and that means mold and mildew can become a problem really quickly.
5. Start allergy treatment early
Don’t wait until your symptoms drag you down. If you know spring allergies are in your future, schedule an office visit now so you can get the treatment you need to keep your symptoms under control. Over-the-counter medications might be all you need, or you might benefit from a prescription treatment. Taking care of those needs now means you’ll have the necessary products on hand, so you can prevent symptoms before they start.
Don't let allergy symptoms ruin your spring
At Alpha Internal Medicine, we can help you keep your allergy symptoms under control with treatment plans tailored to your symptoms, your health, and your lifestyle. To learn more about the allergy treatment options we offer and how we can help you have a more pleasant spring, book an appointment online today.