Ah!  Summer is finally arriving in Kentuckiana!  Or so I’m told by my seasonal allergies.  And that mean pollen, lots and lots of pollen.  Nothing like walking outside to see everything covered in that nasty yellow film of pollen.  According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people suffer from allergies. Luckily, we have had a few days of rain recently to help curb the effects of all that pollen. But you may be wondering what else you can do for your allergies during the days of heavy pollen and the easy answer is to reduce the pollen that is inside your home.

We know that on a pretty day it is tempting to open your windows and doors to let some fresh air into the house, but it’s not a good idea on days when the pollen count is high.  What seems like fresh air blowing in, is in fact pollinated air and is most likely making your allergies worse. 

Clean more!  Specifically, dust and vacuum more frequently than normal. Make sure to clean your vacuum filter more than normal as well.  Filters capture pollen and should be emptied and cleaned frequently.  Also make sure to change the filter on your HVAC as that will most likely be getting dirty at a more rapid rate.

Once the pollen has subsided for the season it is a good idea to do a deep clean.  It’s not a coincidence that “Spring Cleaning” happens this time of year. Even though the surfaces inside your home may not visually become covered in pollen, like your outdoor furniture, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.  Pollen tends to find its way into all kinds of nooks and crannies.  It is also a really good idea to have your carpets cleaned at least once a year and after the pollen invasion is a great time to do that.

If you have pets that go in and out you may want to bathe them more frequently. You obviously can’t bathe them every time they go out but even rubbing them down with a damp cloth or using some waterless shampoo can help to reduce the amount of pollen in their fur. It’s also a good idea to keep your face off the dog and keep them out of your bed, but we all know that’s easier said than done.

Keep your bed as clean as possible.  If you’ve been outside, make sure to shower (more specifically wash your hair) before crawling in bed.  The pollen from your hair gets on your pillow and then you rub your face in it.  That can’t be good!  Use allergen-proof covers on pillows and mattresses and wash your bedding each week.  As an added benefit put your pillows in the dryer once a week on high heat.  This will help to kill additional allergens.

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