The popular misconception that seasonal allergies only take hold during hay fever season is exactly that – a misconception. If you’re an allergy sufferer, you’ll know only too well that the burden is a year-round one and difficult to avoid. The cooler autumn and winter months can bring about winter allergies (symptoms are often confused with the common cold) and before you know it, the seasons change again and spring allergies are next on the list. Trust us, we know how problematic your daily routine can be if you’re living with allergies.
With this in mind, we decided to discuss some of the things you can do (or not do) to prevent your allergies from controlling you and your everyday life. From washing your hair in the evening to wearing oversized shades, this round-up features an array of ideas for you to try.
Work out indoors
Sure, your carpet isn’t the same as the freshly-cut grass in the park you usually run through, but it’ll cause you less grief on high-pollen days. If you usually exercise outside, change up your routine and reap the benefits of a mat workout instead. You’ll inhale less pollen particles and still feel energised once you’re done.
Buy a HEPA filter
A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is no ordinary filter. Unlike standard air filters, HEPA ones were built to clean the air inside your home or office. How? Good question. In pushing your indoor air through a very fine mesh, the filter catches potentially harmful particles (like pollen) and removes an impressive 99.9% of the airborne pollutants that have taken over our homes.
Change your clothes (and your shoes)
If you’ve been outside for even part of the day, make sure you remove your shoes as soon as you enter the house – you’d be surprised at how much pollen you can pick up while out and about. To prevent the pesky particles from being trailed through your home, take your shoes off and give them a clean as soon as you arrive back home. Oh, and don’t stop at your shoes. Pollen can become attached to the fibres in your clothes, so change them too. Try to remove your clothes in the bathroom instead of the bedroom to prevent stray particles from becoming comfortable where you sleep – this will only cause you problems at night.
Monitor the air quality
One of the most important (and beneficial) things you can do if you’re sensitive to pollen is quite simple. Monitoring the air quality in your area can make a huge difference to your symptom outbreaks. By making small changes to your routine – depending on the air quality – you’ll notice a real improvement in terms of the frequency and severity of your symptoms. For instance, if your location is experiencing high levels of pollen on a particular day, avoid spending time outside and do as much as you can indoors, whether that’s working out or just working.
Keep your home fur-free
If you love animals (who doesn’t) and have one at home (same question) you’ll know how they like to make themselves comfortable. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that they won’t affect your symptoms because you’re not allergic to animals. Pets with long hair and a tendency to roam the great outdoors are likely to collect pollen particles on their fur, which, you guessed it, is then brought into your home and likely to cause your symptoms to make an unwanted appearance. Designate a certain part of your home to them, and prevent them from settling on your sofa or bed.
Talk to your doctor
Stay informed by having regular catch-ups with your GP. Don’t wait until your symptoms surface to book an appointment – make sure you discuss any concerns with them and ask for further advice when the pollen count is higher than usual. Taking the correct medication is important, and if the medicine you take doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, consult your GP to see what your options are.
Wash your hair in the evening
If you’re someone who likes a morning shower to get you ready for the day ahead, we have some bad news. Taking a shower in the evening before you go to bed is crucial if you’re sensitive to pollen. We know how it is. You’ve had a busy day and you can’t wait to climb into bed and catch up on that much-needed sleep, but take it from us – sleeping will pollen particles in your hair and on your body will cause your respiratory issues to worsen. Take a shower and thoroughly wash your hair in the PM after returning home to ensure you’re pollen-free before going to sleep.
Use a nasal rinse
This doesn’t sound like the most pleasant of activities, and it’s probably not on your daily to-do list, but using a nasal rinse can cause your symptoms to decline dramatically. Buy a sterile saline solution from your local pharmacy and you’ll see why. By flushing your nose with the rinse, you’re not only washing pollen away, but other problematic things like dust, pollutants and mucous. The rinse will also relieve any inflammation, which will have you breathing easier almost straight away.
Buy some sunglasses
If you’ve had your eye on a pair of sunglasses for a while, here’s the perfect excuse to give in and buy them. Wearing oversized shades protects your eyes from pollen, dust and other irritants – so be sure to carry them with you wherever you go.
Image courtesy of StockSnap, Pixabay