If you’re prone to allergies, April begins the season when those first annoying symptoms — sneezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes — start to kick in. While at first your symptoms may seem mild and manageable, over time, they can start interfering with your health and wellness, even making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergy symptoms every spring, we have some good news for you: With just a little effort, you can significantly reduce your symptoms and improve your comfort level — and even your wellness. Here’s what to do.
Spring allergies: Your personal plan of attack
Most spring allergy symptoms are caused by mold spores and pollen, activated by warm sunshine and spring breezes. Regardless of what triggers your symptoms, you need to take steps now to prevent those symptoms from taking over your life. The earlier you start implementing these tips, the sooner you can find relief. Let's get started!
1. Check the pollen count
You know how most weather reports include a UV index to help you gauge your risk of getting sunburned? Well, they typically provide a similar service for allergy sufferers, noting the pollen count during their evening broadcasts. If you can't find a pollen count on your news program, check out pollen.com for an official pollen forecast for your area (and allergy maps too). On high count days, try to stay indoors as much as possible.
2. Close those windows
Avoiding the great outdoors isn't all you should be doing on days with high pollen counts. Since those tiny mold and pollen spores can come in through your windows, you'll need to keep them closed, at least until the pollen count goes down. We know it's a real shame to miss out on those lovely spring breezes. But just remember that each breeze could be carrying millions of tiny spores, so it's important to mount a strong defense and keep the windows closed.
3. Keep it clean
Since it's inevitable some spores will make it indoors, now is the perfect time to change those air filters. Your filters can do a great job capturing tiny airborne spores and allergens — but only if they're clean. Change your HVAC filters according to the manufacturer's directions, and if you still find yourself sneezing indoors, consider changing them a little more often, at least until allergy season subsides. Filters aren't the only thing that should be cleaned. Do a deep cleaning on your upholstery and your carpets too, and while you're at it, clean your drapes and curtains, wash your duvet and coverlets, and consider adding a mattress cover. Not only can it block allergens from getting into your lungs, it can form a barrier against dust mites, another common cause of indoor allergy symptoms.
4. Kick off your shoes
Many cultures around the world prefer that you take off your shoes before entering a home — and it's no wonder. Your shoes can track in all kinds of dirt and debris, including germs and allergens. Taking them off when you enter (and maybe slipping into some comfy socks or slippers) can keep those particles out of your home, and it can make cleaning a lot easier too.
5. Treat your symptoms early
If you know you suffer from springtime allergies, there's no reason to wait until your symptoms make life unbearable. Scheduling an office visit now can help ensure you get the best and most effective treatment for your needs, based on your symptoms, your health, and your lifestyle. We can help you decide if an over-the-counter medicine is sufficient or if a prescription medicine might be warranted. Plus, we can help you think of other ways to reduce your exposures to the allergens to which you're most sensitive.
Relief for allergy symptoms: We can help
As a top-rated primary care physician in Vorhees, NJ, Dr. David Zweiback is skilled in helping his patients beat their allergy symptoms and find the relief they need. To learn more about the treatments he offers, book an appointment online today.