Spring is here! …Are you sneezing yet?
While spring means warmer weather and more time spent outdoors, it also brings along pollen and other allergy triggers that cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, congestion, and red, itchy eyes. These and other symptoms are enough to make most allergy sufferers want to hide away indoors, which is why an allergy management plan is so important. Even if you are actively managing your allergies there might be things you’re unknowingly doing that make your symptoms worse.
Here are seven of the most common mistakes people make when managing their allergies, and how you can avoid them:
Improper cleaning techniques.
Cleaning your home is an effective way to reduce allergens, but there are a few mistakes that many people make. For example, using scented cleaners or cleaning products with strong fragrances could aggravate your symptoms. Wear a mask while you clean to avoid breathing in allergens that have been stirred up into the air and leave the house for a few hours after you finish cleaning. (Use a damp cloth to better trap dust and other allergens that get kicked up into the air.)
Leaving windows open.
We understand the desire for fresh air, but opening your windows allows pollen to enter your home. Turn on the air conditioning instead if it is hot outside, and make sure your air filter is clean.
Waiting too long to take your medication.
Don’t wait until your symptoms are bothering you to take your medication. Your allergy medication tends to be more effective at preventing symptoms rather than treating them.
Not communicating effectively.
Don’t feel shy about your allergy. If you’ll be attending a party or another event and will need the host to accommodate your allergy, let them know in advance. You should also become more comfortable with communicating the details of your allergy to chefs and restaurant wait staff.
Additionally, you should be open and honest about your symptoms when speaking with your doctor. You may find it useful to keep a diary of your symptoms and discussing it at your next appointment.
Not paying attention to pollen counts.
By knowing the day’s pollen count you will be better able to plan your daily activities. For example, pollen counts are highest in the morning so it’s best to avoid outdoor exercise at that time. By knowing the pollen numbers for the day you’ll be able to minimize your exposure and thereby lessen your symptoms.
Keeping allergen magnets in your home.
Yes, stuffed animals are cute and your down comforter is cozy, but they are also great at collecting allergens. Upholstered furniture and rugs are also allergen magnets. Replacing or removing items like these from your home will help reduce your exposure to allergens.
Allowing pets in your bed.
Even if you don’t have pet allergies, letting your pet into your bedroom and on your bed can be a mistake because they can bring in allergens like pollen, dust, mold and others. It’s better to make your bedroom an allergen- and pet-free area. (You should also know that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet. While some breeds may be less allergy-inducing than others, any animal with fur has the potential to cause symptoms.) For more on pet allergies, check out this Buzzfeed article with common questions answered by our very own Dr. Mainardi.
Do you have questions about managing your allergies? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.