Is it spring yet?
While temperatures and precipitation have varied widely across the country in recent weeks, we are moving in the general direction of longer days and warmer weather as spring approaches.
The changing of the seasons also means a change in air quality throughout the country. With plants blooming and outdoor activity increasing, people with seasonal allergies will notice a difference in how they feel throughout the day both indoors and outdoors.
To prepare you for dealing with those familiar seasonal allergy symptoms, let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon for spring allergens this year and how you can clean up the air in your home.
Common Spring Allergens
Pollen is the tiny, powdery substance that is released by plants during their reproductive cycle. It is one of the most common allergens during the spring months, and often comes from trees early in spring and grass in late spring and early summer. When pollen comes into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, it can trigger an allergic reaction and symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and congestion.
Mold grows in damp environments, like a wet pile of leaves. During the spring months, mold spores can be released into the air and trigger allergic reactions, with symptoms including sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion.
Spring allergies can go beyond tiny particles drifting in the wind. Insect activity also increases in the spring, and some people suffer from allergic reactions to insect contact or bites. There’s a difference between bite allergies and a normal reaction to insect bites, but both are something you want to avoid. Symptoms range from itching and rash to severe issues like shortness of breath.
Dust mites are tiny creatures that live in dust and can trigger allergic reactions in some people. During the spring months, you may notice dust mites as the air in your home becomes increasingly stagnant after the cold months when you’re not opening windows and bringing in fresh air. Symptoms of dust mite allergies include sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion.
Overcoming Spring Allergies
- Monitor allergy and pollen levels with online tools or local news sources
- Stay indoors in a Healthy Air environment on dry, windy days
- Wash sheets in hot water to get rid of dust mites
- Don’t dry laundry outside as pollen can stick to sheets and towels, and be carried into your home
- Regularly vacuum and dust your home to reduce the concentration of dust mites
- To remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air in your home, install an AprilAire Air Filter in your HVAC system
- Keep your indoor air humidity between 40–60% with AprilAire Whole-House Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers. This helps keep your lungs and nasal passages hydrated and helps create an environment where pests and allergy and asthma triggers are less likely to thrive.
- Save outside activities for after a rainfall when the pollen will be cleared from the air
- Ask friends or family members who don’t suffer from allergies to help out with lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other outdoor chores that can stir up allergens
- Remove clothes worn outside as soon as you come inside, and shower to rinse your skin and hair
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen, or consider wearing eyeglasses rather than contact lenses