Climate change and increased air pollution do not bode well for the staggering 50 million U.S. men and women who suffer from allergies. According to Spoon University, climate change worsens seasonal allergies in a few key ways:
- Winter is getting shorter. Spring starts earlier and lasts longer. That means pollen season starts earlier and lasts longer, too.
- Increased carbon dioxide from cars and tightly packed cities stimulates pollen production.
- Air pollutant creates irritants that make it easier for pollen to enter our airways and nasal passages.
With allergy season growing worse year after year, Texas allergy suffers may be wondering: what can I do? Thankfully, there are several ways to keep symptoms at bay. Follow these steps to lessen the severity of seasonal allergies.
Plan Outdoor Exercise Accordingly
“Early morning (between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.) is prime time for the highest pollen counts,” pediatrician Tanya Altmann tells Parents. In other words, reschedule that early morning run or bike ride later in the day — perhaps after work when pollen counts are comparatively low.
If you can manage it, it is also wise to plan exercise around the weather. Expect high pollen counts — as well as an abundance of other allergens — on dry and windy or especially humid days. By contrast, it is best to exercise outside right after it rains or during a pleasantly light rain. Rain helps clear the air, making it relatively free of allergens.
Finally, make adjustments as necessary. If pollen counts are especially high or the weather comes along with unfavorable conditions, exercise inside. Run on the treadmill or pull out your stationary bike. If you wish to exercise outdoors, opt for low-intensity exercise. Go for a walk, or set up a yoga mat in the backyard and do yoga or stretches instead.
Be Extra Particular About Cleaning Your Home
Ear nose and throat doctors — or an ENT in McKinney, Texas — can certainly help if your allergies become unbearable. First, it is wise to consider preventative recommendations, like being extra thorough about cleaning.
If possible, keep carpeting and area rugs to a minimum. If they are must-have fixtures in your home, make sure to regularly clean them with a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA-certified filter. That will prevent dust and particles from escaping as you vacuum. Even then, it is best to clean vacuum bags or canisters well before they fill up with dust and debris.
Wash bedding frequently. Remember, you spend hours in bed every night and potentially inhale any particles lingering on linens.
Finally, do not forget to scrub the bathroom. Left unchecked, the bathroom provides the ideal conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Mold and mildew spores will inevitably aggravate allergies. Prevent this from happening by regularly scrubbing sinks, tubs, and toilets. Use bleach-based cleaners or a diluted bleach solution to kill germs.
Air Out Materials And Objects That Trap Allergens
Cleaning may not be enough. Between trips to see an ENT in McKinney, Texas, keep allergies at bay by airing out any items or materials that trap allergens. Take off shoes, sneakers, and boots and leave them at the front door or in the garage. “New furnishings, rugs, and certain paints can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which end up irritating your airways,” Parents.com writes. If any of these new purchases come in a box, plastic, or tightly wound up or sealed, unpackage and unfurl them and let them air out for several hours.
When Is It Time To See A Doctor?
If your allergies are only getting worse and affecting your overall quality of life, it may be time to make an appointment with the nearest allergist or ENT in McKinney. An ENT in McKinney can test for specific allergies, help you develop a preventative care plan, and prescribe tablets, allergy shots, and/or immunotherapy to help wrangle your allergy symptoms into submission.
Preventative actions help, but do not suffer needlessly! Do what you can to minimize allergy symptoms and if symptoms continue to persist or get worse and worse in spite of your efforts, contact a trusted medical care professional.