10 Tips to Beat Allergies and Take Summer Back!

For many people, summer brings the promise of backyard barbeques, long walks on back roads, and invigorating hikes through pristine mountain air. And for you – it promises sneezing, wheezing, and teary eyes. Seasonal allergies can put a damper on the fun, and grass, hay, pollen, and dander can make you wish for the return of cold weather. Don’t let allergens ruin your summer fun. Fight back! But…how?

What are Allergies – and Why Does Summer Trigger Attacks?

They say misery loves company; if you suffer from allergies, you certainly have lots of company. About 50 million people in the US feel your pain. So, what’s happening? Your immune system is launching a full-on attack on something that has entered your body or come into contact with it. It perceives the allergen as a threat and triggers your runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing. Grass, weeds, pet dander, insects, pollen, and mold are common summer culprits.

Uninviting Allergies

If anything from grass to the pollen in the air can trigger your symptoms, how can you enjoy the great outdoors and create a safe haven in your home?

  1. Monitor the pollen count. Several weather websites, such as Accuweather, offer a daily report on pollen and other common allergens. If you can, avoid outings during times when the count is high, and when pollen is emitted (typically between 5:00am and 10:00am).
  2. If you use allergy medication (antihistamine, decongestants), take it before you go out. Do not wait until you experience symptoms.
  3. Talk to your doctor about a non-habit-forming decongestant nasal spray. Sprays can provide relief, but do not use them for more than 3 days at a time (with excessive use, the spray can damage your nasal passages and cause more congestion!).
  4. Choose a nontoxic, biodegradable cleaner for your home. Often, chemical cleaners can trigger allergy attacks or exacerbate symptoms. Instead, opt for an enzymatic cleaner with Ordenone that helps you achieve a deep clean and breathe easy.
  5. Pet Owners, find a dander/odor remover. Again, look for a nontoxic enzymatic formula with Ordenone (which, in addition to cleaning, eliminates odor – no more stinky dog!). You can apply the product directly to your pet; then gently wipe him with a cloth or paper towel to remove dander.
  6. Close the doors and windows. Use an air-conditioner with a HEPA filter (even if you set the temperature high) to prevent allergen-laden air from entering your home.
  7. Don’t hang your clothes outside to dry, particularly if you have a pollen problem.
  8. Vacuum several times a week, using a model with a HEPA filter. And add cleaning air filters and dusting flat surfaces to your regular chore list.
  9. Keep the humidity low to inhibit mold and mildew growth. Optimal levels are between 30% and 50%.
  10. Hop in the shower. Take a shower and wash your hair when you return from the outdoors to remove allergens and prevent them from dispersing throughout your home. Also change and wash your clothes when you get back inside.

Summer allergies can take the fun out of summer, but if you talk to your doctor about medication, avoid triggers (when possible), and clean thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner, you can enjoy the season. Your body may never love pollen, grass, or weeds, but you can learn to manage symptoms so they’re no longer your archenemies.