Spring allergies are a common condition that millions of adults and children across the world experience every year. Although the sniffles and constant sneezing aren’t limited to springtime, symptoms can begin as the first flowers start to bloom—leaving you with watery eyes and a runny nose throughout the season.
To help you avoid getting spring allergies and enjoy the rest of the warm season snot-free, here are the common causes of spring allergies that you should know and how you can avoid them.
Pollutants Around the Home
There are several things in your home that can trigger spring allergies. For instance, dirty rugs and carpets full of dust and other allergens can cause a severe reaction, so make sure to have your rug cleaning done by professionals to ensure a clean and safe home.
Cooking can also release indoor air pollutants, and using home cleaning products may emit volatile organic compounds—both dangerous for people with allergies.
If you have a pet, you may have a higher chance of getting your allergies triggered during springtime. That’s because besides dealing with budding trees, flowers, grass, and plants, your pet will likely begin shedding more due to the warm weather, leaving pet dander throughout your home.
The leading reason behind spring allergies is pollen. That’s because every spring, plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize the surrounding greenery. However, most of these can cause allergic reactions, and here are some of the most common sources of pollen:
During spring, tree pollination usually starts first, followed by grass pollen. The most common tree with high amounts of pollen is the Birch tree, so if it’s spring and you’re sneezing more than usual, you’ll know who’s the culprit behind it. Other trees with high pollen content are Elm, Cedar, Oak, Pine, and Poplar.
Grass and Weed
Grasses and weeds are among the most common causes of spring allergies, with Ragweed being the leading cause behind it. Other sources with high pollen content are Bermuda grass, Fescue, June, Perennial Rye, Redtop, Orchard, Sweet Vernal, Timothy, and Saltgrass.
Remember that pollen counts tend to be significantly higher on windy days as the wind can pick up these tiny grains, carrying them throughout the air.
Mold spores are another culprit of spring allergies that works similarly to pollen. Like yeast and mildew, these molds will release seeds called “spores” that get carried by the wind—spreading throughout your home. They’re abundant in outdoor air and usually cause the worst symptoms during spring. Common outdoor molds include Cladosporium and Hormodendrum.
Preventing Spring Allergies
Although there are several ways for you to avoid allergens during springtime entirely, there are precautions you can take to reduce your exposure, including:
Vacuum and Dust Your Homes Regularly
Vacuuming and dusting your home is a great way to prevent spring allergies, especially if you have pets. The best product for this task is pet-friendly vacuum cleaners since they can suck up pollen and other allergens more thoroughly.
Take a Shower Before Bedtime
Your body and hair collect massive amounts of pollen whenever you spend time outdoors, so it’s best to take a quick shower before going to bed to avoid getting pollen all over your beddings. Plus, make sure to wash clothes you’ve worn outdoors as soon as possible.
Avoid Drying Clothes Outdoors
Although doing this can save you on energy bills, when you dry your clothes outside, pollen may settle in the fibers—triggering spring allergies symptoms when wearing the garments later on.
Tweak Your Home
Even the “simplest changes” can make a huge difference. You can shut all the windows in your home to keep pollen out or use an air conditioning unit to cool your house instead of a fan, which draws in outdoor air inside your home. Additionally, taking off your shoes before going into the house and regularly cleaning your home is ideal as well.
Limit Your Time Outdoors
Every spring, trees will release billions of pollen grains throughout the air. When breathing them into your nose and lungs, they could trigger an allergic reaction. The best way to avoid inhaling pollen is by staying inside as much as possible, especially during windy days or early morning hours, where pollen counts are at their peak.
However, if you go outdoors, wearing glasses or sunglasses can help keep pollen from getting into your eyes. When working on your garden or mowing the lawn, using a filter mask is advisable. After that, always make sure to take a shower, wash your hair, and change clothes before lounging around your home as pollen can spread.
If you’re having a hard time finding the main culprit behind your spring allergies and doing the prevention methods mentioned don’t work anymore, it’s time to make an appointment with an allergist or immunologist. They can better identify what you’re allergic to and how to avoid triggers long-term.