June is peak allergy season in Oregon, are you ready? If you are bracing yourself with a box of tissue in hand, here are some natural ways to prevent and reduce your allergy symptoms this year.
1. Don’t Let Your Pets On The Bed
Pets that go outdoors (even for short periods of time) can gather pollen and dust in their fur. Once indoors they will slowly shed that pollen all over the house especially anywhere they lay down. If you notice that your allergies are bad right after you wake up and you have pets that like to lay on the bed, consider keeping them completely off the bed for a few days to see if it helps. In addition, wash your linens to remove pollen that may already be on it.
2. Vacuum Frequently And Wash Your Linens
Carpeting - especially thick carpeting - is the number one place where pollen, dust, dander, and mold gets trapped. If you have pets or wear your shoes indoors, make sure you vacuum frequently (at least once a week) to keep your carpet clean. The second most common place for trapped allergens is fabric, such as your bed linen. If you have pets that frequent your bed, wash your linen at least once a week to remove dander, dust, and pollen that get transferred onto your bed from your pets.
3. Don’t Wear Your Shoes Indoors
This may be a hard habit to break, but consider everywhere you walk everyday and think about all of that being spread across your home. Even if you don’t walk directly into grass you can still be tracking in dust and other allergens likely to worsen your allergies. If you have carpet, this may be even worse because carpeting readily traps dust, dander, and pollen. Leave your shoes outside or at the door and don’t wear them into your home.
4. Get Rid of Fluffy Fabrics
Similar to carpeting, fluffy fabrics like throws, soft pillow cases, and other fluffy linen can really trap allergens. Pets that like to lay on them readily deposit dander, and pollen if they have been outside. Either get rid of things with fluffy fabrics or wash them frequently to keep the amount of allergen trapped in them to a minimum.
5. Keep Your Windows Closed
Keeping your windows closed, especially during the morning hours from 5am to 10am when there is the highest pollen count, is important to reduce your exposure to pollen. This is true for home, office, and commute. Keep your windows closed at home and the office, and keep your windows closed while you drive to work in the morning. In all these places, consider either re-circulating the air, or running a fan with a good HEPA filter.
6. Run The Air Conditioner or Furnace Fan
Circulate the air in your home and use the air filter (make sure you have a clean HEPA filter) in your furnace to help filter out some of the dust, dander, and pollen floating around in the air. Running the air conditioner will also help reduce the humidity which can reduce mold spores, another cause of allergies.
7. Don’t Exercise Outside in the Morning
Peak pollen count during the day is between 5am and 10am. Avoid exercising outside during this time to limit your exposure to pollen. Evening hours would be a much better time for doing outdoor activities. While this may seem like an inconvenience, consider how much better your day may be if you felt better from the start.
8. Get Acupuncture Treatments
If all of this seems like too much, or you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work (including allergy medications), or you just don’t want to take allergy medications anymore, consider getting acupuncture to treat your allergies. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Let us help you relieve you of your allergy symptoms this year and see how much better life can be without having to worry about pollen count or take medications.