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3 ways to allergy-proof your home this spring

March 25, 2015
sneezing woman surrounded by tall flowers

Spring can seem like a breath of fresh air after the short days and cold winds of winter, but not everybody enjoys warmer temperatures. In fact, if you have seasonal allergies, the mere sight of blooming flowers and tree branches covered in buds might be enough to send you into a sneezing fit. When humidity accelerates the effect of natural allergens like pollen and ragweed, you might have a tough time even stepping outdoors without a regimen of medications.

If you have a particularly tough time with your seasonal allergies every spring, there are a few things you can do to lessen their impact on your work and personal lives. First, don't hesitate to seek help from CareWell's urgent care centers if you're experiencing a prolonged or acute attack. With patients seen in as little as 15 minutes, you can be back to normal before you know it. But what about when you just want to relax at home after a long day struggling with allergies? Check out these three ways you can allergy-proof your home for a sneeze-free spring.

Don't let this be you when all you want is to relax at home.
Don't let this be you when all you want is to relax at home.

1. Close all windows
Allergy attacks are most often triggered when sensitive membranes around the body, like those found in the nose, throat and eyes, are exposed to otherwise harmless substances that your immune system mistakes as a threat to your health. While medications only suppress this immunological response, keeping allergens out of your home in the first place can be a more sure-fire alternative.

Though you might want to enjoy the weather once April and May roll around, keeping your home's windows closed will limit the amount of pollen and other allergens that are blown inside. Once they're in, allergens can stick to furniture upholstery, carpeting and any other soft materials you have around the house. Use fans or an air conditioner to keep your home cool instead of opening yourself up to allergy attacks.

"Pet dander is an allergen that can trap others if you let animals on your furniture."

2. Keep Fido on the floor
Most pet owners treat their animals like full members of the family, but when it comes to springtime allergies, you're better off enforcing some rules regarding the furniture around your home. If you normally let your dogs, cats and other shedding animals sit on couches and chairs like humans, you could be creating the perfect storm for seasonal allergies within the home.

Pet dander can trap allergens that manage to enter your home, but it can also act as an allergen itself. Reduce its spread by keeping pets off of furniture in the spring and summer, and don't forget to regularly clean these surfaces just in case you have some disobedient critters.

3. Pillow talk
Like it or not, you're going to end up tracking some allergens from the outside world into your home. While you can't prevent all of this, you will want to focus on one place that collects a good amount of pollen and other substances through regular use: your pillows.

After a day of touching your face absentmindedly, it's almost certain that you've transferred some allergens from your hands to the areas around your nose, mouth and eyes. Going to sleep every night transfers these to your pillow, and this buildup can cause serious problems if you're putting your face on it every night. Make sure you're washing your pillowcases more often in the spring and summer.

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