It’s the time of year that the windows come open, we begin looking at seed catalogues, and the barbeque grill gets cleaned. But, not everyone can open their windows and look forward to the budding trees, flowers, grass, and pollen drifting through the air.
For some, spring marks the beginning of a battle to keep from getting overtaken by allergy symptoms: runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and sometimes, sinus infections.
Being an allergy sufferer myself, I can sympathize with those of you that have your allergist’s phone number on speed dial. If you’re like me, there have been years of trial and error before discovering what works to keep you as symptom free as possible.
That’s why I’m excited about sharing with you some tips that I learned alleviated my allergy symptoms and reduced the number of sinus infections I get tremendously. Some of my tips require discipline on your part, while others require allowing an indoor air quality technician to come in and help you achieve clean air in your home. But, trust me, the changes will reap positive results.
- Eliminate drapes and curtains as much as possible. Drapes, curtains, and venetian blinds all are dust collectors. Get rid of them and a month later, you’ll be asking yourself why you ever liked them anyway. If you must have some splash of color, put up a valance or get simple, washable panels.
- Eliminate carpet. Carpet is a breeding ground for mold and dust mites. If you can’t afford to get rid of all your carpet, the most important room to replace with a hard surface is the bedroom. Our bodies recover during sleep and the air needs to be as pure as possible where we are getting our much needed, healing sleep.
- Install a MicroPower Guard Air Cleaner. A MicroPower Guard Air Cleaner takes out micron size particulates that normally would pass through the standard furnace filter. If particulates pass through the furnace filter, guess where they get stuck? Your lungs.
- Install a RGF Guardian Air Purifier. A RGF Guardian Air Purifier is an Ultraviolet light that purifies the air of bacteria, viruses, VOC’s (volatile organic chemicals), and mold.
- Dehumidify the air during warmer months. It’s important to keep relative humidity levels between 35-55%. You can do this by either using a central dehumidifier, or certain types of two-stage air conditioners will automatically dehumidify. If you don’t have either of these, you need to track the humidity level with a humidity meter because if the level of humidity gets above 55%, it will contribute to the growth of mold in your air.
- Replace your old mattress. If your mattress is ten years old or more, it is most likely host to dust mites and dust mite feces. Sound gross? Yeah, it is. But, the truth hurts and it’s hurting you to sleep on an old mattress , especially f you have allergies.
- Faithfully irrigate your sinuses. Your nasal passages are equipped with cilia, tiny hair like structures that beat back and forth to rid your body of unwanted substances, like dirt, bacteria, and viruses. Routinely flushing your nasal passages out with saline solution helps get rid of these intruders. Just like changing your furnace filter often helps keep the air free from particulates, sinus irrigation helps keep your air passages clear and aids in preventing infection.
- Drink plenty of purified water. Many people that have allergies to airborne particulates, also have food allergies. What most allergy sufferers don’t realize is that drinking water can be loaded with chemicals that can cause allergic reactions; chemicals like chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride. For those that deal with allergies, drinking purified water just makes sense. It helps to dilute and flush out unwanted toxins. Ask us about Aquasana.
- Get plenty of Vitamin D from sunshine. Your body makes its own Vitamin D, but only after being exposed to the proper amount of sunshine per day. Twenty minutes a day is the recommend dose. Helping to strengthen the immune system is just one of the roles that Vitamin D plays in equipping our bodies and because allergies weaken our immune system, allergy sufferers need to make sure they are getting the proper amount.
- Keep your windows closed. Keeping your home tight with windows closed is helpful to most allergy sufferers, but there are exceptions. In some cases, indoor air in a home that is tightly sealed can be less healthy than outdoor air. But, that is a subject for another time. The fact remains that in most cases, indoor air, with the proper ventilation and filtering, is purer than outdoor.
- The same principle applies when it comes to showering after your outdoor activities. The mold spores, pollen, and other contaminants are clinging to your clothing, hair, and skin. Quickly getting those clothes in the washing machine and your body into the shower will lessen the risk of aggravating your allergies.
I hope you will try my tips for relieving your allergy symptoms this spring and summer. I am always learning new ways to strengthen my own immune system and will share that information and other topics with you in the days ahead.