That old saying “spring is in the air” brings joy to some and misery to others. For those who suffer from spring allergies, what’s in the air are allergens like pollen that can cause an otherwise hopeful season to be quite miserable.
The very things that most of us love about spring—green grass, blooming flowers and budding trees—occur precisely because of the spread of pollen by wind, insects and other animals. Pollen can adhere to nearly any surface, and often does. In some areas pollen is so intense that it may leave a green or yellow sheen of dust on windows, decks and outdoor furniture.
Unfortunately, pollen also attaches itself to people, working its way into our noses and lungs.
It’s the wind-blown type of pollen that people need to worry about—not the type that is transferred plant to plant by bees.
Not everyone is equally impacted by allergies related to pollen, of course. Some may feel no effects at all while others may suffer for weeks. In addition, most people are only allergic to certain types of pollen.
What Causes Allergies?
The human body works in mysterious ways and performs many very important functions. One of these functions is reacting to eliminate harmful foreign particles from our bodies. That works well for dealing with most viruses. But, in the case of those who suffer from allergies, their bodies are perceiving otherwise harmless substances as a threat and launching an attack to get rid of the allergens. Our immune systems product antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and, when faced with certain allergens, sends IgE to sites like our nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears or skin to get rid of the allergens.
We experience these symptoms during times of the year when certain plants that we are allergic to begin to bloom. This happens not only outside, but also indoors. Pollen can enter our homes on our clothing, in our hair, through our pets, or carried on the wind through open windows and doors.
Fortunately, there are steps we can take to help ease the misery that can come from spring allergies both outdoors and inside.
How to Ease, or Stop, Allergy Symptoms
The best defense against allergies is a good offense. An important first step to take is determining what is causing your allergies. This can be done through allergy testing to determine which plants are affecting you the most. Armed with that knowledge you can attempt to avoid those plants or seek specific treatment to address the effects you’re feeling.
There also are things you can do to protect yourself from allergies while indoors.
First, be aware of the potential for allergens to be brought indoors by you, members of your family and your pets.
- Clean your pets before you let them come inside. Use a damp cloth so you catch, rather than spread, the pollen particles they may have picked up while outdoors.
- Change your clothes after you’ve been outside—even your shoes. Frequently laundering your clothes is also a good way to keep allergens at bay.
- Regularly vacuum, dust and clean surfaces in your home. When emptying your vacuum or disposing cleaning supplies, do it outdoors, to avoid spreading the allergens around inside.
- Consider removing carpeting and replacing with hard flooring if possible.
- Keep your windows closed. While a nice breeze may be pleasant in springtime, if the breeze is bringing allergens into your home, it may be best to opt for air conditioning to stay cool.
You may find this to be a shocking statistic, but it is sadly true: the air in your home can be as much as five times less healthy than the air outdoors! You can take steps to ensure that your home is filled with healthy air though. In addition to the tips above, another important step to take is to cleanse and monitor the air in your personal space to help remove allergens.
Wynd Plus, for example, is an air quality sensor and purifier built into one water-bottle sized device. It’s portable and perfect to bring with you wherever you go –to work, to school, or when traveling. Put it on your nightstand at night to ensure that your personal space is allergen free. The Air Quality Tracker will monitor the air around you so you know exactly when air quality is a problem. If you’re looking for a solution to keep your entire home allergen free you may want to consider the Home Purifier and Halo.
Whatever your needs or your allergen concerns, we’ve got the solution to help you fight back against pesky spring pollen and turn the season from sad to glad!