Spring is here and you know what that means… flowers blooming, sun shining, birds chirping and yep, allergies. Allergies can range from annoying to debilitating, but either way you want them to go away as soon as possible. Allergy medications can greatly help, but did you know there are other ways to prevent allergies? Here are some of the best tips:
- Choose foods with antioxidants which can help fight inflammation that leads to allergies. Try nuts, seeds, green tea, acai and leafy green vegetables to start.
- Lose weight. It’s true, carrying extra weight can make it harder to breathe and exacerbate breathing problems from allergies.
- Reduce stress. Stress causes a host of problems, including a weakened immune system which can make you more susceptible to allergic reactions. Try adding a hobby that helps you relax or taking time to meditate or practice deep breathing throughout the day.
- Take these vitamins or take a multi-vitamin that contains these vitamins when you take your antihistamine: vitamin D, magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins and Echinacea (don’t take Echinacea for a long time though, only a few weeks).
- Change the filters in your home every three months and dust regularly. Filters in air conditioning and furnaces are very important to remove pollen, mold and dust from the air.
- If your allergies are really bad, keep the windows closed and run the air conditioner instead. Opening windows and doors and using fans are a great way to invite allergens into your home. Using a dehumidifier will also help. If you have a basement, be sure to check it often to make sure it isn’t getting too damp down there.
- Swap out your doormats. You might not realize that doormats made of rope or other natural materials can break down and invite mites, mold and fungus to be tracked into the house. Use a plastic one and wash any outdoor mats weekly and remove shoes when entering the house. Believe it or not, many allergens can be tracked in from your shoes.
- Spring clean! Your bedroom and other rooms in your home might be collecting allergens. Do a thorough cleaning of every room and wash everything. Switch to hypoallergenic pillows and if your allergies get really bad at night, don’t let your pets in the room with you.
- While you’re cleaning, check the mold situation in the bathroom and the kitchen. It could be hiding behind the toilet or there could be leaks that could eventually lead to mold. Take care of any issues you find and make sure to wash shower curtains, liners and bath mats monthly. Kitchens are also hotspots for mold because of the water use and food. Make sure to clean out your refrigerator weekly to avoid growing mold on food or from spills.