If you find yourself sneezing, sniffling, or itching your eyes this spring, you’re not alone. “I see a lot more adults presenting with allergies,” says Troy D. Woodard, MD, rhinologist for Cleveland Clinic’s Head and Neck Institute. “Spring is usually tree pollen, summer is grasses, and dust and mold are year round.” Here are Woodard’s top tips for fighting back this spring.
Find the Source
“The main thing is to figure out what you’re allergic to in order to avoid it,” says Dr. Woodard. Not sure if you have an indoor or outdoor allergy? See your doctor. You may be given a skin prick test or blood test to see what’s bothering you.
Prep for the Season
If pollen tends to get to you each spring, start taking an antihistamine like over-the-counter Claritin or Zyrtec even before you see symptoms. “Pre-treating can help prevent an allergic response,” Dr. Woodard says. Always change your clothes or shower as soon as you get home to reduce exposure.
Vacuum at least twice a week with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to suck up dust mites and other allergens that get embedded in carpeting. “Dust allergies are so common,” says Dr. Woodard. “I see them in 25 to 35 percent of my patients.” Clean all bathroom surfaces at least once a week to cut down on mold.
Makeover Your Bedroom
Hypoallergenic bedding may help you breathe better as you sleep. “They used to be plastic covers, but now you can get more comfortable and fashionable options,” says Dr. Woodard. Look for synthetic bedding and duvet covers that are washable.
Don’t forget to also wash or replace curtains and do a weekly swipe over of blinds.