Runny noses, itchy eyes, sore throats: it's all coming. Unfortunately, North Texas is an especially miserable place to live if you have seasonal allergies. Ragweed, pollen, grass, and many other pollutants will soon be in the air everywhere, which is probably why Fort Worth and Dallas both rank highly on the list of worst cities for allergy sufferers in America.
However, you aren't helpless when it comes to combating seasonal allergies, even in Texas. Here are some strategies you can implement that will give your sinuses some relief and help you feel better throughout the coming months.
Monitor the Pollen Count Outside
If you download a weather app, you can actually check to see how bad the allergens in the air are each day. When you wake up in the morning, look up the pollen count to determine whether or not you should spend time outside. I'd highly recommend downloading The Weather Channel app, which will clearly tell you whether or not the pollen count is high or low and even let you personalize your allergen news so that you can accurately track the worst days of the month.
Take Allergy Medicine Daily, But Not Just As Needed
Although you can never totally prevent allergies from attacking, you can minimize their annoying effects by starting to take allergy meds every night before going to sleep. Research shows that 24-hour allergy meds are most effective roughly 12 hours after you take them, which means you'll reap more benefits if you take them at nighttime rather than in the morning. Experts say you should start doing this well before you develop severe allergy symptoms as a method of "pretreatment." You may also want to pair your daily medication with a nose spray if your allergies are especially terrible.
Invest in a High-Quality Air Purifier
Although you can't see it, the air in your home is full of allergens like dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. To eradicate some of these problematic contaminants, buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter. This will trap some of the pollutants and might substantially decrease your allergy problems. It's best to keep the purifier next to your bed so that you get maximum allergen relief during the nighttime.
Change Your Sheets At Least Once Each Week
Every time you sleep in your bed, oils, sweat, bacteria, and allergens can accumulate on your sheets. Therefore, it's a smart idea to change out all of your bedding at least once a week. When you wash your sheets, put them in the washer alone and set the machine to warm or hot to eradicate dust and other allergens.
Vacuum Every Other Day
Allergens love to burrow their way into your rugs and carpet, so make sure that they stay as clean as possible, especially during spring. Your shoes track in plenty of nasty pollutants, but by vacuuming at least a couple of times a week, you can prevent your home from becoming a resting place for allergy-inducing substances. It's also a good idea to sweep your hard floors and shake out curtains and blankets for extra protection.
Do Laundry Often
When you come home every day, your clothes carry plenty of outdoor pollutants inside with them. That's why you should wash your clothing as frequently as you can. Doing so will decrease the number of allergens floating around in your house and make it a safer place to live and sleep during the worst periods of the allergy season.
Wash Your Hair Every Night
Just like your clothes, your hair can contain hundreds of allergens, even if you barely set foot outside. Hair gels and other products can trap pollutants on your head, so give your scalp a thorough scrub each night before going to sleep until the spring allergy season has passed.
Wear Big Sunglasses Outside
One of the most annoying aspects of dealing with allergies is the itchy, puffy eye syndrome. To prevent allergens from irritating your eyes too much, protect them with sunglasses when you go outdoors. You can also wear hats and scarves to keep less pollen from invading your face.
What techniques do you implement during spring to keep allergies from rearing their ugly heads? Leave other suggestions in the comments!