After a long winter, spring is definitely a welcome change. Unfortunately, along with warmer temperatures and opening leaves and flowers come pollen and spring allergies. Symptoms can range from a runny nose to a sore throat to watery and itchy eyes. After years of suffering through both spring and fall allergies myself, I’ve come up with this list of helpful tips and tricks to get through any allergy season.
I divide my battle with allergies into two parts. First there is dealing with the things that can trigger allergy symptoms – dust, pollen, and mold. Second, I deal with any allergy symptoms that do occur.
When trying to eliminate the causes of allergies, I have a few tools that I cannot live without:
A good air purifier is a must for those of us with allergies. It helps clean the air of dust, dander, and pollen. The Rowenta Intense Pure Air Purifier is the only air purifier that also destroys formaldehyde (often given off by furniture or laminate flooring). The Rowenta has four high performance filters that the air passes through and its “smart Sensors” automatically adjust to the particles in the air to be running at optimal levels at all times.
I will admit that I have always been a bit dubious of air purifiers wondering how you really know if they are working. The Rowenta Intense Pure Air Purifier has made me a believer! Hearing it kick into high gear as I am cooking on the stove and noticing how quickly even strong smells like bacon or garlic are neutralized has won me over!
Vacuum with HEPA Filter
One of the best ways to get rid of pollen and dust is to vacuum them up. However, if you are using the wrong vacuum cleaner, you may just be shooting them back out of the system. Not only are you not removing them from your home, you are stirring them back up into the air to be breathed in.
The Dyson V6 Absolute has a lot going for it. First, it is cordless which makes it super easy to use which in my case means I will be more likely to, you know, actually use it! I’ve usually passed on cordless vacuums because I wasn’t convinced they would have the power and suction of a regular one. This little monster is amazing!
Second, the Dyson V6 Absolute has a great assortment of attachments perfect for battling allergens. The hard floor attachment makes getting every bit of dust and pollen a breeze. The mini-motorized tool makes vacuuming stairs or furniture super easy. Couches and other upholstered pieces can collect dust, dander, and pollen and are often overlooked and need to be vacuumed regularly.
Lastly, the HEPA filter on the Dyson V6 Absolute means once you vacuum up the dust and pollen, it stays in the machine until you dispose of it. Certified asthma & allergy friendly™. Dyson V6 Absolute uses patented 2 Tier Radial™ cyclones, a post motor filter and a sealed system to ensure that the air that leaves machine is cleaner than the air you breathe.
It’s tempting to open the windows on the first warm day, but you might want to hold off until you’ve been able to clean off your screens. All of last year’s pollen, dirt, and dust have accumulated and will blow directly into your home with the first warm breeze. A quick and easy way to wash screens is to just give them a quick shower. Simply remove them from the window and run them under a warm shower. You will be shocked at how much comes off of them!
Leave Allergens Outside Your Door
Many of the allergens found in our homes are brought in on our shoes. The best solution to this is to take off your shoes before entering the home. If this isn’t possible or you’d like another level of protection, door mats are a great way to “clean” some of the junk off of shoes before it comes in. One of my favorites is The Amazing Mat which is made up of a number of sticky sheets that collect dirt and germs when stepped on. When the top one gets dirty, simply peel it off (along with the dirt) and expose a new sheet. The mat is safe and easy to walk on for adults, children and pets.
But even with the best efforts, allergy symptoms can still flair up. Here’s what helps me:
Hot and/or Cold Packs
Depending on the day, I might want a cold pack to soothe throbbing sinuses or a warm pack to help loosen congestion. A versatile pack like CVS’s peas pack can be chilled or heated. Since it’s latex free, it’s safe for every member of the family to use.
It’s amazing how much a stuffy nose can bother me. I love products containing eucalyptus to help clear my nasal passages. Just dropping a Shower Vapor Tab (like these from CVS) can make all the difference between a clear and stuffy nose.
I’ve tried and tried to use the Neti Pot but just have not been able to get the hang of it. I tend to gravitate more toward the easy to use saline rinses like Ayr or Simply Saline. A saline rinse is an easy way to loosen up congestion so that it can easily be blown out and is painless and easy to administer. I’ve found letting kids take control of squirting it themselves seems to make the whole process less scary.