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For the past two years, we’ve all been focused on COVID, so we haven’t had much time to worry about life’s more mundane health issues, like the stomach flu or seasonal allergies. But now that we can take a breather, we’re more likely to notice the pollen in the air this spring.
If you find yourself sneezing and rubbing itchy or stinging eyes more often, you probably have seasonal allergies, which are a direct result of the new blooms and high pollen count.
To keep your allergies under control, here are some tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your allergies at bay.
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1. Keep tissues handy
For a runny nose that just won’t stop, there’s only one solution: tissues. The problem is, not all of them are enough to accommodate your wettest sneezes and nose blows. You want something absorbent to soak up drops, soft enough so that your nose doesn’t get red and irritated, and thick enough not to crumble with use. Our favorite are the Kleenex Ultra Soft Facial Tissues, which feel more like a lightweight handkerchief than an easy-to-tear piece of cotton, and are soft enough to use on watery eyes.
Buy Kleenex Ultra Soft Facial Tissues on Amazon for $13.88
2. Relieve your sinuses with a neti pot
When your sinuses become clogged, you have post-nasal drip, or you feel your nasal passages are too dry, try a neti pot. The SinuCleanse Neti Pot is BPA and latex free and comes with 30 pre-mixed salt packets that, when mixed with filtered, distilled or previously boiled water, hydrate to prevent nasal irritation. Once you have prepared the water and mixed it with the solution in the teapot provided, lean sideways over the sink, place the spout in the top nostril and pour slowly. You should then see the water escape from the lower nostril and run into the sink.
Buy the SinuCleanse Soft Tip Neti Pot Nasal Wash on Amazon for $12.66
3. Put your dirty laundry in a basket with a lid
Do you ever swipe your finger along the hood of your car in the spring and see that pesky streak of yellow powder? That’s pollen, and it literally falls from the sky. Remember that after a walk outside or some yard work, your clothes are your car – covered in pollen. When you go back inside, it’s not a bad idea to strip off your dirty clothes and throw them straight into a basket, especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies.
You want a basket with a lid so you don’t spread pollen and other airborne allergens around your home. Also, try to keep washing your laundry as the most effective way to get rid of allergens such as dog dander, pollen and dust mites on clothes is to wash them in hot water.
4. Take a shower as soon as you enter
Like your clothes, your exposed skin — your arms, face, legs, and hair — will be covered in pollen after spending time outdoors. It follows that you should rinse yourself in the shower so as not to sneeze yourself. This is even more important before bedtime so you don’t spread allergens on your sheets and pillows.
5. Use allergy covers on your bedding
If allergens do get into your bedroom, you’ll be better prepared if you use allergy covers on your mattress and pillows. The ones like the Aller-Ease Maximum Mattress Protector and Pillow Protector claim to block dust mites, pollen, bed bugs, pet dander and household allergens with a soft fabric cover that can be closed over your pillows and mattress.
6. Stick to washable carpets, if any
Rugs can warm up a home and make it cozier, but just like clothes and bedding, allergens will enter your rugs. If you can roll up your rugs and store them properly at the time of year when your allergies are worst, great. If you can’t, we recommend switching to a Ruggable machine washable rug. Not only do we love how easy they are in the washing machine, but we also love that there are hundreds of designs to choose from and plenty of size options to fit any room in your home.
Buy rugs at Ruggable
7. Skip fresh flowers inside except low pollen producers
As anyone who has ever met an Easter lily will tell you that fresh flowers are beautiful, but they can bring pollen into your home and cause your seasonal allergies to flare up. If you like to have vases of fresh flower arrangements on your table or other places in your house, forget about flowers with pollen-rich stamens (think asters, daisies and chrysanthemums) and opt for flowers such as orchids, roses, hydrangeas instead. and peonies that produce relatively little pollen. You can also try a dried flower arrangement or wreath, or a succulent.
8. Bathe Your Pets Often
As sweet as your pets are, they can (harmlessly) exacerbate your allergies by introducing irritants into your home, just like you do when you come from outside. But your furry friend probably isn’t wearing clothes that they can lose. To avoid sneezing while cuddling, bathe your pet regularly and consider using a hypoallergenic shampoo. For dogs, Reviewed editor Alison Kotch recommends Tropiclean’s Papaya & Coconut Luxury 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner. Made with papaya, kiwi and coconut extracts, the island-inspired blend claims to clean your dog’s coat and eliminate odors, while preventing dry skin and tangled coats. The naturally derived ingredients are not tested on animals and it is safe for daily use.
Buy Tropiclean’s Papaya Coconut Dog Shampoo & Conditioner on Amazon for $11.99
9. Use your face mask for chores
Right now we are no strangers to wearing face masks outdoors. Your COVID-era masks can also come in handy when you’re doing chores around the house. The next time you vacuum the house or mow the lawn, put on your face mask to act as a protective barrier between you and allergens.
10. Run an air purifier
Air purifiers can significantly reduce seasonal allergens in your home, and as a result, the amount of discomfort you feel.
The key is to know what you are allergic to and find an air purifier to meet those needs. According to Reviewed chief scientist Dave Ellerby, “pollen tends to be at the larger end of the particle size spectrum, above 15 microns,” he says. Mold spores are usually in the same, larger size range. If you have seasonal allergies, they are likely planting pollen or mold spores. In this case, a lower rated filter would be enough to capture most problem particles. If you are allergic to pets, it is worth investing in a higher quality HEPA filter to capture the smaller particles that cause pet allergies.
For seasonal allergies and pet allergies, we recommend the Winix 5500-2 air purifier as it uses a True HEPA filter that is easy to replace; plus, it removes odor along with allergens. To get the most out of it, place it in the room where you spend most of your time, run it often, keep changing the filter, and make sure your windows are closed while it’s working. exercise for someone with allergies anyway.
Buy the Winix 5500 2 True HEPA Air Purifier at Wayfair for $159.99
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