If you’re one of the approximately 20% of people who suffer from hay fever, you probably already know the basic ways of fending off allergies, such as staying away from pollen and taking antihistamines. Here are 11 other spring allergy triggers you should also be aware of to breathe easier this season:
- Fruit: The farmer’s market can strengthen your immune system, but it can also send your system into a frenzy. Tree, grass and weed pollen counts are high in fruit and can worsen allergies. Try peeling or cooking fruit to lessen or avoid any negative reaction.
- Alcohol: Alcohol dilates the nose’s blood vessels and can spur an immune response. To fight this, limit your alcohol intake (especially wine) and never mix alcohol with allergy medicine.
- Stress: Although stress does not cause allergies, it can worsen your symptoms. Make sure to take care of yourself and do whatever you need to do to de-stress. Try meditating, practice yoga, or soak in the tub.
- Hair products: These products can become pollen magnets. Try to use fewer hair products and make sure to wash your hair every day to remove any allergens from your locks.
- Thunderstorms: While light rain decreases pollen counts, thunderstorms stir up pollen. Try to stay inside during rough weather and keep your windows shut.
- Rising humidity: Dust mites love humidity and this can cause sneezing, itchy nose, runny eyes, and other symptoms similar to seasonal allergies. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels between 40% and 45%.
- Over-watering houseplants: Overwatering an cause mold and mildew to grow in their soil. Research to see how much water your indoor plants actually need. Some plants such as the snake plant and golden pathos can also improve indoor air quality.
- Ceiling fans: These fans can swirl allergens around. Instead of turning on ceiling fans, run the A/C to cool off.
- Morning showers: Bathing at night can remove any pollen or mold on your clothing, skin and hair. If you prefer to shower in the morning, make sure to at least wash your face every night and give your eye area special attention.
- Spring cleaning: Spring cleaning can expose you to dust mites, cockroach and mouse allergens, mold spores and pet allergens. Try to get someone else to deep clean your home when you’re not there.
- Your dog: Dogs being outside can bring pollen, mold and other allergens into your home. Give your pup regular baths and do not let him hang out on your bed!
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