If your allergies have gone haywire over the last few weeks, you’re not alone. We are in peak allergy season in the Southeast, and the warm, wet weather is making it worse. Droves of people are heading to the doctor and pharmacy for relief, only to find that medications alone don’t always solve the problem. However, there are some easy things you can do outside of your home to prevent allergens from getting indoors and affecting you.
Power wash your home seasonally
Pollen collects on outdoor surfaces and contributes to allergies. Since most cases of hay fever are caused by an allergy to fall pollen from ragweed plants, cleaning outdoors is essential at this time of year. Your home, driveway, and deck are likely covered by a haze of powdery grains. Power washing can remove pollen on the exterior, so you’ll be less likely to carry it indoors and suffer the consequences.
Keep your windows and doors closed during peak hours of the day
Everyone loves to open the windows when the first signs of cooler weather appear. The air conditioner has been on all summer and fresh air is a welcome change. If you suffer from allergies, this is not a good idea. Open windows will only exacerbate your symptoms. Be sure to clean your windows and screens, both inside and outside, as pollen quickly accumulates on these surfaces.
Cover outdoor furniture when not in use
Since the heat of summer has lifted, it’s nice to get outside once again to enjoy your porch, deck, or backyard. Unfortunately, wherever you sit, will likely be covered in pollen. Be sure to wipe down seats and tables before getting settled in. When not in use, you can use slipcovers or throw an old sheet over furniture to prevent pollen from collecting on the cushions. At the end of the season, have your cushions professionally cleaned to store for next year.
Keep your car in the garage
If you don’t have a garage, keep your car covered when possible. If not covered, pollen will pile up on your exposed car and wreak havoc on your allergies. Keep an outdoor hose handy to rinse off your car if it’s in the driveway. Get in the habit of getting a car wash weekly when the pollen count is high.
Remove your shoes and outerwear before entering your home
Have a designated spot in your garage or on your porch for these items. Bringing them indoors will only spread pollen throughout your home. If your clothing is covered in pollen, remove it right away and be sure to wash it thoroughly.
Since pollen from plants is a natural occurrence, there is nothing we can do to stop it; We can, however, manage it. Clean outdoor spaces and surfaces to limit your exposure. Take extra steps when pollen counts are high and stay indoors when possible.