By ALLIE MYSZKA
We may still be in the roller coaster of temperatures around middle Tennessee, but there’s no denying it—springtime is almost here. Trees are starting to bloom, and the grass is finally waking up again. Sure, the world will be bright and beautiful in a few weeks, but all that blossoming inevitably brings an onslaught of pollen. If seasonal allergies have gotten the best of you in years past, not is the time to take some proactive steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again!
Lessen or even eliminate your seasonal allergy symptoms with a few simple steps so you can actually enjoy spring and the beauty it has to offer—instead of cursing it for your headaches, drippy eyes, and stuffy nose.
- Replace your air filters.
It’s a good idea to change the air filter in your home every 2-3 months, and the cabin filter in your car at least once a year. Spring is an especially good time to swap out both of those filters for new ones. You’ll get out any lingering dust and toxins that stuck around through winter, and ensure that the air you’re breathing this spring is free of pollen (while you’re in the car or indoors, at least).
- Take your shoes off when you get home.
Some of us are already in the habit of leaving our shoes outside when we get home, or at least leaving them by the door. This is great for keeping your floors free of dirt and debris, but this time of year it also helps keep pollen and dust out of your home. Imagine how much pollen you carry in on your shoes after walking through a grassy park, or even through your yard to the mailbox. Leave that pollen outside, where it belongs!
- Keep up with pollen levels.
If you already know what type (or types) of pollen trigger your worst symptoms, check pollen counts and levels every day or so to see when levels will be higher. If grass pollen makes you miserable, minimize your outdoor time on days when it’s high. Tree pollen? You’ll have to admire those beautiful blooms from behind a window for a few days to save yourself from allergy symptoms. Need a way to check pollen levels in our region? The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) puts out daily reports from their regional stations—click here to find reports from Lexington, Knoxville, and other nearby stations. Many weather apps also include a pollen level in their forecasts this time of year, so plan your daily activities to minimize exposure to your biggest allergy triggers.
- Consult the professionals.
Whether you’ve been a longtime allergy sufferer, or this is the first year you’ve experienced allergy symptoms, you can always consult a doctor or allergist for help. They’ll be able to recommend treatments that can keep you from being miserable for the next three months.
Whatever you choose to do to prevent seasonal allergy symptoms, don’t wait until they hit. Now is the time to get ahead of those symptoms, so you (and those you live with!) can have a happy, minimally sneezy spring.
Allie was born and raised in Georgia, and moved to Nashville after graduating from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, an old soul, and a chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie at alliemyszka.com.