Kentucky is consistently one of the Top 5 worst states for allergy sufferers but living in our beautiful state doesn’t have to be a struggle. Here are a few tips to help you avoid allergens.
Allergens aren’t just found outside.
Deep cleaning your house can help eliminate lingering allergens such as dust and pet hair. It’s especially important to get rid of mold, which builds up in bathrooms and basements and is a major allergen – especially in spring months when there’s lots of moisture. While it’s a good idea to regularly clean your house throughout the year, it’s especially important during spring months. Frequently wipe down all hard surfaces and wash bedding.
It’s also important to keep the air in your home clean. Regardless of what you may have heard, the best way to clean the air in your home is not with an ionic air filter. The ionization changes the charge on a particle of pollen or dust and the particle sticks to the next thing it comes into contact with, often a wall or surface. The best way to clean the air is with a HEPA room air cleaner rated with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). For those with central air, change your air filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12.
Having trouble keeping up with cleaning? Here are a few tips to help cut down on allergens in your home:
- Replace carpet with flooring such as hardwood, linoleum or tile
- Keep pets out of the bedroom
- Use allergen-proof zip covers on your mattress and pillows
- Take a shower and change your clothes as soon as you get home
- Reduce clutter
Don’t live like the end of an allergy medicine commercial.
We’ve all seen them, the commercial ends with the allergy sufferer flinging open their windows and taking a deep breath of the pollen filled air. While that fresh air may seem like a good idea it allows pollen to settle in your carpet and upholstery, making it impossible to escape the allergens. If you’re tired of having a stuffy nose, stick to using your air conditioner with a clean air filter.
Enjoy the great outdoors, but be smart about it.
Avoid going outdoors during peak pollen times. Pollen is usually highest from 5 to 10 a.m. and at dusk. Pollen is also higher on warm, breezy days. It may also be helpful to cover your hair with a hat to reduce the amount of pollen you carry on your body.
Sometimes preventative measures aren’t enough.
You can’t completely avoid allergens without living in a plastic bubble but you can manage your allergy symptoms. The best ways to manage your symptoms is to see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can help you come up with a plan to treat your allergies.
An allergy treatment plan may involve:
- Taking allergy medicines before your allergy season begins
- An Immunotherapy option for your type of allergy
If you have severe allergies it may be helpful to check the pollen counts and avoid outdoor activities on days that have especially high counts.