Spring is in the air; the birds are singing, the grass is growing, and all those little pollen particles that were so delightfully dormant during the winter are popping up again, getting in your vents, your clothes, and -- eventually -- your nose. With about 40 million Americans suffering from hay fever, you're definitely not alone in looking for a way to get through spring with a smile.
So if you're struggling to handle your seasonal allergies, then here are a few tips and tricks to get you off the tissues and back into action:
Tip #1: Don't Skip Spring Cleaning
While you're washing your walls and painting the outside of your house, don't forget to replace your air filters and vacuum your vents -- these are two places in your home most prone to collecting both dust and pollen, which will exacerbate your allergies. As a general rule, you should vacuum your vents every other week or so, and replace your air filters every couple of months, or whenever they get dirty, whichever comes first.
Tip #2: Minimize Your Exposure
Pollen may be everywhere, but there are ways that you can minimize your exposure to the sneeze-causing particles without cloistering yourself in your bedroom. If you're the type that likes to keep the windows open to let in a cool spring breeze, make sure that your windows have screens, which will help to filter the air that passes through them.
Another helpful trick is to use an odor eliminator on your clothes and furniture -- most will have a pollen and allergen neutralizer in the formula, but check the details on the bottle, just in case.
And if you're still finding it impossible to breathe even with these tips?
Tip #3: See A Doctor
Your family doctor will probably be able to treat your allergies, but they may refer you to an allergist, who will be specially trained to detect and treat allergies. It's a good idea to bring your family medical history with you when you go to see the allergist, so they can be on the lookout for hereditary allergies while examining you.
The preliminary appointment will probably last no longer than 30 minutes, so there's no reason to put it off till later -- and a good reason not to. Hay fever can trigger latent or mild asthma into something much more serious, so keep yourself safe by getting it checked out.